AUTHOR: Peter Maloney@TopFloorPower
German energy storage company Sonnen plans to build microgrids in Puerto Rico to help alleviate the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.
Working with its local partner, solar power developer Pura Energia, Sonnen is targeting emergency shelters as well as emergency medical clinics that require refrigeration for medicine. Rival battery provider Tesla also said it would deliver “hundreds” of its residential battery systems to Puerto Rico in the coming weeks.
Sonnen says it is also interested in partnering with a clean water filtration company to complement their microgrid efforts.
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When Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico late last month, it left the island devastated and without electricity. Germany’s Sonnen is the latest private company to offer assistance to the U.S. territory.
Sonnen has not put a value on its efforts but has said both companies plan to subsidize the cost of installations.
Sonnen says that with its local partner, Pura Energia, it is in the process of contacting existing customers to ensure they have critical power and are safe. The German company says its next priority is to identify targeted “emergency relief sites,” where they can provide a stable microgrid that will make have an impact on the local community.
After a strategic plan is in place with Pura, Sonnen says it plans to deploy a team of engineers and technicians to help lead the microgrid campaign in Puerto Rico. Sonnen says its Puerto Rico Energy Security Initiative is contingent on establishing a stronger lines of communications on the island and gaining access to ports for importing equipment.
“Our plan is to ship a batch of our Eco Energy Storage Systems to Puerto Rico every week, while balancing the rest of our growing business in North America,” Brent Stayer, vice president of operations and quality control for Sonnen, said in a statement.
“Many energy storage systems on the market today require an initial grid connection, as well as additional parts for set up, in order to form a true off-grid microgrid. This is not the case for Sonnen, as it is a natural capability of our product. Therefore, it is our duty to step in and bring relief to our countrymen in Puerto Rico, as soon as possible,” Blake Richetta, senior vice president and head of Sonnen’s U.S. business, said in a statement.