San Juan, The Gulf Observer: The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it will disburse $440 million to install solar panels on low-income homes in Puerto Rico as the U.S. territory struggles with ongoing power outages and a crumbling electric grid.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who is visiting Puerto Rico for the sixth time this year, said the department has selected a group of nonprofits and solar companies for the project, which will target up to 40,000 homes. Eligible households would be located in impoverished communities that experience frequent power outages or have a person with a disability that depends on power, such as a dialysis patient.
Granholm said $400 million will be awarded to three solar companies and $40 million to five nonprofit organizations. The first installations are expected to start by early next year, according to the Department of Energy, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
“Right now, Puerto Rico is number five in the country in terms of per capita of solar installations. We want it be number one,” she said.