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Why tiny solar projects play an outsized role in powering Puerto Rico

Adoption of rooftop solar panels has surged on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico as it contends with high energy costs and frequent outages.

On a given sunny day in Puerto Rico, more than 37,100 rooftop solar installations—mounted atop homes, gas stations, malls and hospitals—churn out 255 megawatts of electricity.

That’s only about 2.5% of the island’s overall power generation. But collectively, the rooftops might be considered Puerto Rico’s largest clean power plant, dwarfing the 101-megawatt Santa Isabel wind farm, the island’s largest renewable generator.

As the US territory of 3.2 million people scrambles to shift to 100% renewables by 2050, much of the focus has been on utility-scale initiatives. In March, regulators conditionally approved 18 renewable power plants that should produce 884 megawatts by 2024. But even with that additional capacity, the island will still depend on fossil fuels for more than 84% of its electricity.

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Source: Bloomberg

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