The Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras in San Juan is the largest produce market on the island, responsible for the livelihoods of 200 small business owners. Since Hurricane Maria, the energy situation has led to an unstable business environment, product losses, and fewer customers for these vendors.

Through the Solar Saves Lives initiative led by The Solar Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, with support from Hispanic Federation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, begins the first phase of the installation of solar and energy efficiency upgrades of the Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras in San Juan, with installation of LED lighting that is expected to be completed later this month.

The first phase includes the installation of 700 units of LED lighting in the market. In the coming months, future phases will include the installation of 250kW of solar panels on the market; a 475kWh battery to help the market operate in the event of interruptions to the grid; and additional energy efficiency upgrades.

“This project combines so many efforts to support the Río Piedras community – driving economic development, lowering energy consumption, empowering small businesses, and promoting sustainability and resiliency,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “These types of installations are a perfect example of the types of investments we need to make in Puerto Rico’s future, and the Hispanic Federation is excited to be supporting this incredibly important effort to install solar equipment and energy efficiency upgrades at the Río Piedras Market.”

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