After the storm, a beacon of hope in Puerto Rico

Environmental Defense Fund - 10628

When Hurricane Maria took down Puerto Rico’s electric grid in 2017, some residents endured nearly a year without power. On Culebra, an island off Puerto Rico’s northeast coast where Dulce del Rio-Pineda lives, people relied on noisy, dirty diesel generators for 18 months, but fuel was scarce. Del Rio-Pineda is a co-founder of Mujeres de Islas, a women’s collective that’s rebuilding Culebra’s self-reliance. As climate change threatens Puerto Rico with increasingly damaging storms, the group is turning to solar power, starting with a community kitchen that doubles as a culinary school. Such community-led efforts are key to EDF’s initiative to build a more resilient power system in Puerto Rico. We’re advocating legal reforms and developing innovative financing to support low-carbon microgrids — small electric networks that can run independently of the main grid — to give communities like Culebra access to clean, affordable and reliable power, even after storms. “It’s not just throwing panels on houses,” says del Rio-Pineda. “EDF knows the policies and economics that can help communities become sustainable.”

Charity Name
Environmental Defense Fund
Photo Caption
Ariel view of the Puerto Rico Mountains
Photo Credit
Environmental Defense Fund