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$4.5-Million Public-Private Joint Program to Support Solar Efforts in Puerto Rico

Jan. 16, 2020
Program between NYSERDA, PathStone and the Solar Foundation to provide training, job placement and more

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced that it has partnered with PathStone and The Solar Foundation to launch a $4.5-million solar workforce training program to improve recovery, reconstruction and resiliency in Puerto Rico through training and placing workers in solar-plus-storage and construction.

The Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator, Workforce and Small Business Development Program is designed to provide business assistance and workforce development for Puerto Rican solar and construction companies in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The program expands on three main areas of opportunity:

  • Puerto Rican Solar Accelerator: will work with local solar companies to improve financing, support a workforce pipeline, provide education and consumer protection and develop two solar and storage microgrid demonstration pilots.
  • Business Technical Assistance: will focus on raising the capacity of locally-developed and operated business to play a role in rebuilding Puerto Rico’s economy with a focus on resiliency and job creation.
  • Workforce Development: will screen, train and place workers in full-time employment in industries primarily engaged with solar construction and production. NYSERDA is providing $30,000 in cost share for seven qualified instructors from the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) to provide training in Puerto Rico. Additionally, NYSERDA will assist in coordinating the activity of the training providers over a 12-month period and is working closely with colleges and universities in the SUNY and CUNY systems to secure qualified solar instructors willing to volunteer their time and expertise to train in Puerto Rico.

The island-wide effort (including all 78 municipalities) will operate out of PathStone’s Puerto Rico Central Office in Ponce, with regional Service Sites in Arecibo, Mayagüez, Naranhito, Bayamón, Juncos and Guayama, and will serve the residents of the islands of Vieques and Culebra. In addition, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) provided $3.8 million to the program, which meets its investment criteria.

To learn more about the efforts of this joint program, read the original release from the NYSERDA. 

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