Blue Planet Energy has deployed its Blue Ion energy storage systems at critical sites for recovery and electrification efforts in Puerto Rico. Through collaboration with nongovernmental organizations and local groups, Blue Ion units are powering a clean water pumping system in the Corozal municipality and a volunteer housing facility in the Isabela municipality, regions which have not had reliable power since Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico in September 2017. In parallel with these installations, Blue Planet Energy is also leading trainings and education sessions for organizations and individuals engaged in electrification efforts in Puerto Rico.
“Blue Planet Energy’s number one priority right now is to provide the means for these communities to rebuild and recover from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria,” said Henk Rogers, Blue Planet Energy CEO and founder. “Too many of Puerto Rico’s residents have not had a functioning electric grid since Hurricane Maria’s landfall in September. Our Blue Ion units will provide critical sites with reliable, safe and self-sustained power to ensure they can continue providing essential services to their communities. We’re proud to be able to lend our support to Puerto Rico and to contribute to its mission of rebuilding with stronger, cleaner and more reliable energy infrastructure.”
Corozal clean water system
Blue Planet Energy deployed a 16-kWh Blue Ion 2.0 battery unit at a well pumping system deployed in Corozal by international sustainable water solutions nonprofit Water Mission.
Paired with a 7-kW solar photovoltaic system, the Blue Ion unit provides resilient off-grid power for the clean water pump station in Corozal’s remote Palos Blancos neighborhood, where some residents were previously forced to leave due to limited access to clean water and no access to reliable electricity. The battery system will extend the pump’s run time, support greater on-demand pumping service and provide supplemental charging for critical on-site communications components.
“Much of Puerto Rico still lacks access to clean drinking water and electricity,” said Mark Baker, director of disaster response for Water Mission. “Our mission on the ground in Puerto Rico is to coordinate with the EPA and FEMA to install safe drinking water stations and solar-powered pumping systems to service those that need it most.”
With more than 16 years’ experience in disaster response, Water Mission is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address the need for safe drinking water in up to 200 rural communities in Puerto Rico.
Isabela volunteer center
Blue Planet Energy deployed a 16-kWh Blue Ion system at the Las Dunas volunteer center, which offers housing and support for humanitarian aid workers installing solar energy kits in areas of need around Puerto Rico.
Completed through partnerships with the non-profit Coastal Marine Resource Center (CMRC) and solar design and installation firm New Energy Consultants & Contracting, the Blue Ion provides robust off-grid energy storage to the center, which houses up to 15 volunteers. Prior to the Blue Ion’s installation, the center was left with no access to electricity. The Blue Ion system now allows the center to store excess solar energy generated during the day for use when the sun goes down.
“The Blue Ion system’s off-grid support perfectly complements our disaster relief efforts to help communities restore power,” said Walter Meyer-Rodriguez, CMRC project lead. “Partnering with Blue Planet Energy has helped to supply reliable power for our base operations, allowing us to meet our mission of deploying solar kits to areas hardest hit by Maria.”
CMRC plans to install more than 100 solar+storage systems at community centers to boost recovery operations in the island’s most under-served regions. The non-profit selected Blue Ion for the Isabela project after testing several other battery technologies.
Additional system components were provided by New Energy and Pennsylvania-based Warren Electric Cooperative, and New Energy technicians supported the Blue Ion’s installation.
“New Energy is proud to support our partners, Resilient Power Puerto Rico (CMRC) and Blue Planet Energy,” said Alejandro Uriarte, president of New Energy. “I believe that the Blue Ion battery will be an essential piece in the recovery of Puerto Rico and we are proud to be the first renewable energy company in Puerto Rico to complete an installation with this product.”
Resiliency training & education
Blue Planet Energy also provided training in off-grid energy storage installation to organizations focused on post-Maria recovery and local clean energy groups, many of whom were working with battery systems for the first time. The trainings focused on safe installation practices of off-grid systems, effective battery sizing for different system applications, and an introduction to differing battery chemistry and technologies.
In February, Blue Planet Energy sponsored the Puerto Rico Solar Energy Industries Association’s inaugural Clean Energy Summit in San Juan, where Vice President of Engineering Kyle Bolger and Vice President of Business Development Gregg Murphy each presented strategies for bolstering off grid energy in Puerto Rico.
“These trainings and education are part of Blue Planet Energy’s larger mission of powering the world with clean energy combined with long-lasting, reliable and grid-independent battery storage,” said Bolger. “Being on the ground in Puerto Rico and speaking with people from communities impacted by Hurricane Maria, we’ve seen firsthand the risk that centralized power systems pose and the hardship they can leave in the wake of a devastating weather event. The Blue Planet Energy team is thrilled to pass on the knowledge and tools for reliable, well-designed off-grid power so that Puerto Ricans can rebuild their communities.
Blue Planet Energy’s project partners selected the Blue Ion ferrous phosphate battery system for its superior off-grid performance and exceptional safety. The Blue Ion’s long lifespan at 100 percent depth of discharge allows it to use its full capacity every day for more than 8,000 cycles with zero maintenance, supporting off-grid homes and facilities with completely self-sufficient electricity. The Blue Ion system poses no fire or toxic hazards, can be installed quickly, and easily integrates with any on-site power assets, including renewables and diesel generation.