Community Solar for Puerto Rico

$7,001 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 14 months
Help bring solar energy to Puerto Rico for immediate disaster relief and for education to create community owned "solar gardens".

My name is Joy Hughes, the founder of the Solar Gardens Institute. For eight years SGI has worked to implement community solar policy, train students, and develop community owned solar projects. In December I traveled to Puerto Rico and visited remote communities that had been devastated by Hurricane Maria. I will be returning in March to bring solar aid and to work with our interns at the University of Puerto Rico.

SGI is working to provide solar-powered aid to the most vulnerable elderly and children in mountain communities still without power. We are bringing solar lanterns, solar fans, and small solar panels to run battery powered medical equipment for children with asthma.

We are helping to distribute off-grid solar kits for community centers. The installations will provide refrigeration, water purification, device charging, and WiFi to remote communities that have been out of power for several months.


Through our interns at the University of Puerto Rico, we are working to create a new energy system based on renewable energy and microgrids, which will resist damage from future storms.

A solar garden is like a community garden - but instead of a patch of vegatables, you own a patch of solar panels in a shared solar array in your area. The energy they produce is credited to your electric bill as if the panels were on your own roof. By subscribing to a solar garden, you save money and the environment at the same time! Now, the concept of shared ownership is coming to renewable-powered micro-grids.

The Solar Gardener Training is a one-semester course that trains local leaders in solar gardens policy, project development, and community organizing. In 2018 we will be training 50 solar gardeners. Each solar gardener will work to develop a community owned microgrid in their home community. Renewable energy for the people, by the people!

Your donation will help me travel to Puerto Rico to provide energy where and when it is needed most, while preparing for a clean energy future. Puerto Rico can become a 100% renewable example showing the world a pathway to a clean energy future.

- Other ways to help -

Donate air miles - to help support my travel and that of volunteers.

Donate equipment - Send solar panels, inverters, and other system components where they're needed most

Volunteer - We need solar experts to design, maintain and install equipment, videographers and video editors, bilingual volunteers for translation, and more!

Become a partner - Both nonprofit and for-profit businesses can share expertise, sponsor a kit, or cross-promote.

Share this fundraiser - with your friends, groups, and email lists

Make a tax-deductible contribution - support this effort by making a donation at energyrelief.org ... Include "Solar Gardens for Puerto Rico" in the comment field.
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Remember "90% of power restored in Puerto Rico" also means that 300,000 people have been without power for six months...

Thank you to Viroqua Ecstatic Dance community for your $150 donation. We are rapidly approaching our $10,000 goal!
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The first few days in Puerto Rico have been quite busy! I have been working with seven students from Johns Hopkins, the University of Puerto Rico, and Evergreen State College.

We met with Jose Roman, the acting president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, to discuss community solar and microgrid policy. We also visited a very new solar installation in the remote mountain village of Bartolo, where a school has been converted into an aid center. We also had the chance to visit the barrio of which has received a grant to put power on its community center and low-income homes.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with professors at the University of Puerto Rico to prepare for the community solar training.

On Tuesday I will be returning to the remote community of Ciales to deliver solar panels paid for with your donations.

We have passed the 2/3 mark to our $10,000 goal. With hundreds of thousands still out of power, Puerto Rico needs all the help it can get! The island can become a model of new energy, with resilient microgrids powered by renewables. Help make it a reality!
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This year I'm donating my REI dividend to Puerto Rico! Picking up solar panels and solar lights. Hundreds of thousands are still without power six months after Hurricane Maria. The panel is going to charge up batteries for a nebulizer belonging to a child with asthma.

I leave with my friend and student Jessica Doyle tonight on the red-eye to JFK. Seven students are involved at the moment. Tomorrow we'll be meeting with the Energy Commission and the next day visiting a microgrid in Utuado municipality. Later I will be teaching a course on community solar at the University of Puerto Rico.

Please consider donating to the effort! When I add in some offline donations we should be over $6000, almost 2/3 of the way to our $10,000 goal!
Joy Buying Solar Panels at REI
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I'm heading to Puerto Rico soon (March 17). So for anyone who's already raised some money for solar aid, or would like to help out the next step of the journey - notice we are more than halfway to our $10,000 goal!
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$7,001 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 14 months
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Apollo Grace
6 months ago
Viroqua Ecstatic Dance
11 months ago (Offline Donation)
11 months ago (Offline Donation)
Joy Hughes
11 months ago (Offline Donation)
Jessica Doyle
11 months ago (Offline Donation)
Leeann Bent
11 months ago
11 months ago
Chase Sizemore
11 months ago
13 months ago (Offline Donation)
Sharon Abreu
13 months ago
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