Local Efforts to Make Solar Power a Reality for Puerto Rican Town

Local Efforts to Make Solar Power a Reality for Puerto Rican Town

Local Efforts to Make Solar Power a Reality for Puerto Rican Town

Students from the Tutorial Center’s Youth Work and Learn program recently helped Grassroots Solar with a local installation.

Students from the Tutorial Center’s Youth Work and Learn program recently helped Grassroots Solar with a local installation.

At their last meeting, Transition Town Manchester (TTM) voted to donate $200 to a local nonprofit organization that is buying, delivering and helping install solar panels in Puerto Rico for residents who have little chance of getting electricity any other way. Bill Laberge, owner of Grassroots Solar and a founding member of TTM, recently returned from Puerto Rico, where he delivered a solar electric installation and taught local electricians how to do future installations on their own.

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, based in Rutland, has partnered with Grassroots Solar to take on the challenging task of helping residents of Puerto Rico, many of whom have been without electricity for months, since Hurricane Maria devastated the island’s infrastructure. Many homeowners run diesel-powered generators three or four hours a day for their basic needs at a cost of several hundreds of dollars each month. This is not sustainable in the long run, and is detrimental to their health and the environment.

NeighborWorks and Grassroots Solar are raising money for more solar electric installations in Puerto Rico. The goal is to help as many residents as possible achieve electric independence and save money while reducing air pollution and the carbon emissions associated with burning fossil fuel. If anyone else is moved to contribute to this cause, tax-deductible donations can be sent to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, 110 Marble Street, West Rutland, VT 05777. Please mark donations ‘For Puerto Rico Solar.’

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