The Clinton Foundation has announced two grants totaling $1.1 million for a first round of solar and energy efficiency upgrades at the Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras market in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras is the largest produce market on the island and provides two hundred small business owners with their livelihood. Since Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, however, regular disruptions in the island's power supply have created an unstable business environment and resulted in product losses and fewer customers for vendors.
The grants include $600,000 from the Hispanic Federation and $500,000 from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy in support of the purchase and installation of 250kW solar panels, 475kWh batteries, and seven hundred units of LED lighting. The CDP grant also includes funds to establish an apprenticeship program for local laborers focused on solar installation, roofing, and electrical work. Led by the Clinton and Solar foundations, and funded through the Solar Saves Lives initiative, in coordination with the municipality of San Juan, the installations will be done by New Energy, a Puerto Rico-based solar provider.
"This effort is directly helping the people of the Río Piedras community — making the market more resilient against future hurricanes, while also more sustainable and less reliant on energy from fossil fuels," said Clinton Foundation CEO Kevin Thurm. "We acknowledge and appreciate the generosity of the Hispanic Federation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the coordination of Mayor [Carmen Yulín] Cruz and the municipality of San Juan, and the work of all our partners through the Solar Saves Lives initiative. This project is a clear example of the progress we can make when philanthropy, business, and government work together."