NYSERDA and PathStone part of economic recovery project in Puerto Rico

NYSERDA and PathStone part of economic recovery project in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is getting a $4.5 million boost in its economic development arm, with a public-private project aimed at accelerating solar business on the island.

The package involves $3.8 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to train workers in solar energy, as well as energy storage and construction. Additional funds come from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, PathStone, and the Solar Foundation.

The project follows previous efforts by the state, under the leadership of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the island along with much of its power transmission system.

“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 21st century climate challenges,” said Alicia Barton, CEO and president of NYSERDA.
PathStone, which is based in Rochester but whose economic development programs reach several states and Puerto Rico, “has managed to help hundreds of business owners and individuals in Puerto Rico to improve economic self-sufficiency and quality of life of individuals and communities through entrepreneurial training, technical assistance, financing access as well as workforce development activities,” said Alex Castro, COO of PathStone. The program will operate out of PathStone’s offices in Ponce.

NYSERDA’s $30,000 contribution will help pay for instructors from the State University of New York to train Puerto Rican businesses and workers in the solar field for a year.

Other components of the program include developing a Puerto Rican Solar Accelerator to help improve financing, create a workforce pipeline and develop two solar and storage microgrid demonstration projects.  Additionally, the program provides technical assistance to indigenous businesses so they can play a role in the redevelopment of Puerto Rico.

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275