We worked with with residents of the Coquí community in Salinas, on the southern part of the island to create an integrated financial, technical and engagement plan for the solar energy cooperative (Coquí Solar). Residents there suffer from disproportionate environmental and health consequences from the island’s fossil fuel power system, since many of the most polluting power plants are in close proximity, even though most of the power from the plants is used in population centers in the north, such as San Juan. Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the community of Coquí is accelerating their efforts to transition to renewable energy, create green jobs, and pursue environmental justice for their community members.
Beyond creating a decentralized, renewable and reliable source of energy – this project at its core addressed the empowerment, economic democracy and autonomy from a history of colonialism and a disconnected relationship with the United States. The project focused heavily on creating buy-in and the ability to develop alternative forms of participation for those with low cashflow and a lack of access to credit.
Completed during MIT's Spring and Fall 2018 courses on Infrastructure Systems