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US Energy: Readout of Secretary Granholm’s First Trip to Puerto Rico to Focus on Solution-based Energy Action Plans

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On Thursday, October 20th through Friday, October 21st, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Puerto Rico to meet with senior members of the Puerto Rican government, FEMA and HUD officials in Puerto Rico, and local utility leadership. The purpose of this visit was to listen and learn about the issues impacting the island’s grid resilience and recovery so that Puerto Rico can emerge stronger from intensifying extreme weather events that are exacerbated by climate change.

During the visit, the Secretary and stakeholders identified ways to address existing short-term hurdles that will help enable priority and urgent projects to break ground ahead of the next hurricane season. Through discussion panels organized by the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Hispanic Federation of Puerto Rico, the Secretary met with civic organizations and community leaders, as part of the PR100 Advisory Group, to discuss solutions implemented after Hurricane Maria that were proven to yield resilience benefits after Hurricane Fiona, such as solar-powered systems with back up batteries.

The Secretary’s trip followed President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to the island after Hurricane Fiona where the President announced the new Puerto Rico Grid Modernization and Recovery Team – a whole-of-government approach to support Puerto Rico in rebuilding an electricity grid that is more resilient, more secure, and capable of supporting 100% clean electricity by 2050.

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