The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has partnered with the Solar Foundation and Pathstone Corporation to strengthen Puerto Rico’s solar energy industry.
The three organisations have launched the Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator, Workforce and Small Business Development Programme.
Up to $$4.5 million has been invested in the programme to provide business assistance and workforce development for Puerto Rican solar and construction companies.
The aim is to improve both economic and grid recovery, reconstruction and resilience in Puerto Rico.
The programme is funded in part with $3.8 million from the US Economic Development Administration to train and place workers in solar-plus-storage and construction.
This programme expands and integrates three fundamental areas of opportunity:
- Puerto Rican Solar Accelerator: will work collaboratively with Puerto Rican solar companies to improve financing, support a robust workforce pipeline, disseminate information on consumer protection and develop two solar and storage microgrid demonstration pilots.
- Business Technical Assistance: will focus on raising the capacity of indigenously owned and operated businesses to play an ever-increasing role in the rebuilding of the Puerto Rican economy with a focus on resiliency and job creation.
- Workforce Development: will screen, train and place workers in full-time employment within industries that are primarily engaged in the production, sales and installation of solar energy productions and construction.
The development is part of efforts by New York to help Puerto Rico to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s steadfast leadership, New York has demonstrated an unwavering commitment helping families and businesses in Puerto Rico recover and rebuild from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This collaborative program will equip Puerto Rican businesses and workers with the innovative training and tools necessary to build a more resilient Island that is prepared to face 21 st century climate challenges.”