MAJOR DONORS SUPPORT RESILIENT POWER PUERTO RICO EFFORT

New York, NY, March 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Fundación Banco Popular, Acacia Network – Ayuda Puerto Rico Fund, and the PRxPR Fund announced today their joint donation of $625,000 in key funding towards a first wave of solar microgrid installations by Resilient Power Puerto Rico (RPPR) across Puerto Rico, benefiting more than 100,000 people. Their long term mission is to address the vulnerabilities of the island’s existing, fossil-fueled electrical infrastructure by supporting initiatives that promote renewable, clean energy. The support provided by these donors will enable the design and installation of 25 solar microgrids in community centers, schools, shelters, libraries, healthcare centers and churches in areas affected by the hurricane.

“We are proud to be one of the first institutional supporters of Resilient Power Puerto Rico which will provide energy resiliency to communities across the Island,” said Richard L. Carrión, President of the Board of Trustees of Fundación Banco Popular. “Our contribution through Embracing Puerto Rico will benefit eight non-profit organizations that played a crucial role following the aftermath of Hurricane María. With this project, we ensure that these organizations will continue providing services even in the event of a future natural disaster.”

Although electrical power has been restored in some areas, the implementation of solar technology is an opportunity to reduce rising energy costs amongst non-profits and create resiliency for future hurricane seasons.

“This initiative will not only help our communities with their immediate problem of lack of energy.  It will also set them up for the future – with resilient systems that will be efficient, cost effective, and most importantly, reliable.  It is a short and long-term innovative solution. PRxPR is proud to be a part of this effort,” said Carmen Baez, Founder of PRxPR. The PRxPR Fund was established in New York by the Puerto Rican diaspora as a relief fund in response to Hurricane María. Their $125,000 donation will power five community centers.

As part of the Acacia Network’s social solidarity work, the day Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, the Board and Executive Team created the Ayuda Puerto Rico Relief Fund, a pool of financial and other resources to provide relief efforts and rebuild the Island. Since that September day, the Fund has reached more than 80% of the Island, and 6,000 families or roughly 18,000 individuals with aid. Ayuda’s initial efforts focused on direct aid and investments in the local economy. In this second phase of work, Ayuda is focused on the long term rebuilding of the Island through various programs and alliances that will help build a stronger Puerto Rico.

“Ayuda Puerto Rico is firmly committed to a long-term rebuilding effort for the Island of Puerto Rico with significant investments in sustainable and resilient efforts,” said Raul Russi, CEO of Acacia Network, who also donated $250,000. “This strategic installation of technology to allow for solar use and clean energy will be a game changer, not only helping reduce high energy costs for those that need it the most, but also ensuring they are ready should disaster strike. Never again will we be left in the dark!”

The microgrids are being installed by local Tesla-trained solar system specialists and run with Tesla Powerwall batteries. RPPR has teamed up with Tesla to show the potential of solar energy in creating long-term energy resiliency and solutions. With the current grid operating at about 80 percent on the island, and with hurricane season starting June, Marvel and his team are hoping to create a movement that will help them weather future storms and provide alternatives to the current energy suppliers.

“We are honored by the generous support of Fundación Banco Popular, Acacia Network – Ayuda Puerto Rico, and the PRxPR Fund, who share our passion and vision for a more resilient Puerto Rico,” said RPPR founder Cristina Roig. “This isn’t just relief work, this is a movement towards long-term sustainability.”

The first wave of solar microgrid installations is slated for completion by Resilient Power Puerto Rico by summer 2018.

About Resilient Power Puerto Rico: Founded in the wake of the storm by Jonathan Marvel (principal of New York and San Juan-based Marvel Architects), Puerto Rico-born New York attorney Cristina Roig, and urban planners/landscape architects Walter Meyer and  Jennifer Bolstad (Local Office Landscape), all who share strong island connections, Resilient Power Puerto Rico’s long term mission is to address the vulnerabilities of the island’s existing, fossil-fueled electrical infrastructure by supporting initiatives that promote renewable, clean energy. RPPR is a nonprofit group acting under the fiscal sponsorship of the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, a 501(c)(3) corporation. Contact us on our website at www.resilientpowerpr.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/resilientpowerpr/, and on Instagram at @resilientpowerPR.  

About Fundación Banco Popular: During 2017, Fundación Banco Popular launched Embracing Puerto Rico, a fundraising campaign focused on providing relief and support recovery efforts of the most affected communities after Hurricane Maria. A total of $6.1 million have been raised from corporate and individual donors including the initial contribution of $1 million from Popular, Inc. Our current focus is to finance projects that will stabilize communities by providing access to clean water, solar energy and jump-starting Puerto Rico’s economic recovery, among other projects. www.fundacionbancopopular.org

About PRxPR Relief & Rebuild Fund: PRxPR is a private, non-partisan, no overhead fund, was purposefully created to help Puerto Rico in the aftermath of two deeply devastating and unprecedented hurricanes. Committed to investing 100% of donations amongst the most critically affected communities, the Fund’s short and long-term humanitarian goals focus on food/agriculture, clean water and fuel/renewable energy initiatives. PRxPR was launched by a committed, diverse, and respected group of Puerto Rican business leaders in the US with extensive experience, broad networks, resources, and direct ties to Puerto Rico. Contributions to this Fund are fully tax deductible and can be made by visiting www.PRxPR.org.

About Acacia Network Inc. – Ayuda Puerto Rico Relief Fund: Acacia Network’s mission is to partner with communities, lead change, and promote healthy and prosperous individuals and families. Acacia has always operated by identifying and empowering the already existing assets in our communities, operating not from weakness but from strength. They have been working on the ground in Puerto Rico for over 5 years, currently building affordable housing in Toa Alta. Their partners were all organically connected to networks that were ready to lend a hand when the disaster struck. During and immediately after the hurricane, Acacia consulted with their partners who were there from day ONE, including local consultants and businesses, non-profit organizations, community leaders, religious groups, and stakeholders at all parties and at all levels, so as to obtain the highest resolution picture in terms of need and to identify the optimal routes to lend support. The Ayuda Puerto Rico Relief Fund, established by Acacia’s board of directors and leadership in response to the devastation of Hurricane Maria, is a pool of financial and other resources to provide relief efforts and rebuild the Island. www.donatepuertorico.com

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/82bbe39f-db96-43da-8d88-c7925dea6ca8

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a1a9c02d-941b-41bc-b74c-017c4a2b3040

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8d82cf88-3c25-40e9-97e5-c3a619b90665

CONTACT: Jose Juan Terrasa-Soler
Resilient Power Puerto Rico
jterrasa@marvelarchitects.com

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