Arensis off-grid biomass power system delivered to remote victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Arensis delivers technology and staff to help hurricane victims without electricity
Arensis, an international provider of off-grid energy generation, has delivered its biomass-to-energy technology to help bring power to victims of Hurricane Maria in remote areas of Puerto Rico. The company has provided the first of its carbon neutral units to the city of Fajardo which will turn fallen trees and hurricane debris into distributed energy.
The Arensis technology, which consists of a biomass converter housed within a shipping container, has been relocated from Lufthansa’s operations at the Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla in the country’s far north-west to the eastern city of Fajardo. The company is also shipping a pelletiser and will relocate staff to run the system, which will use debris and woody biomass from the hurricane’s destruction to generate clean energy for the community. The first 50KW unit, delivering a combined 120KW of thermal energy, will power Fajardo’s sports complex which is currently being used as a refugee shelter and distribution centre.
Designated a Promise Zone, aimed at navigating federal resources for vulnerable areas, the city of Fajardo has been without electricity for the past month. Arensis has partnered with the city of Fajardo and Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce to deliver not only immediate relief but also develop an integrated industry solution, eventually helping to create jobs and support the clean energy rebuilding effort.
Company joins push to drive economic recovery through renewable energy
Like most of Puerto Rico, Fajardo communities and neighbourhoods were left cut off without communication, water, essential supplies and power from the monster hurricane. Already planning support for Puerto Rico’s PZ designated region, Arensis had a pilot program in place on the island prior to Hurricane Maria. Understanding the high energy prices and challenges faced by many islands due to lack of access to interconnected systems and dependence on outdated centralized coal, diesel and fossil fuel derived technologies, Arensis focused their disruptive technology in fostering a decentralised micro-grid energy solution for Puerto Rico.
Arensis will donate two initial Entrade E4 CHP systems providing 50KW per unit for a six-month period, with a plan for 30 additional units delivering 1.5 MW of electricity and 3.6 MW of thermal energy capacity through partnerships and funding initiatives underway. Each unit fits inside a 20-foot shipping container. The relief effort is part of a growing coalition of international companies that have the means and the will to help Puerto Rico and drive recovery through renewable energy, including Lufthansa Technik and Schneider Electric.
“Residents without power is what everybody would identify as one of the biggest concerns”
“We’ve all heard the reports that it will be many months before electricity is restored in Puerto Rico,” said Arensis CEO, Julien Uhlig. “The government is currently rewiring the central electrical grid and working hard to have 90 percent of the island powered by December of this year. We’re glad to play a small role in these efforts and encourage the continued building of smart and efficient micro-grids as an alternative to having only one source of energy on the island.”
The Mayor of Fajardo, Aníbal Meléndez Rivera, grateful for the relief support, stated:
“During this humanitarian crisis, our communities welcome all of the help we can possibly get. There has been some progress but the majority of the people are still without power and the flow of aid has been slow.”
Manuel Laboy Rivera, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC), stated:
“Our department is working to leverage all available resources and support more efficiently, therefore we encourage Arensis to deploy its technology as quickly as possible. Collaboration is key in this difficult, yet hopeful hour.”
Arensis’ Chief Legal and Business Development Officer and native-born Puerto Rican, Wilfredo Reyes arrived in Puerto Rico from the USA to reunite with family and friends, having managed to board the last flight before the Category Four hurricane hit the island.
“Residents being without power is what everybody would identify as one of the biggest concerns. The government is trying to rewire most of the infrastructure to bring power back to people because without power you can’t actually begin moving the economy again, which is a big priority.”
“Arensis is responding by using hurricane debris materials considered to be trash and turn them into clean energy. This is very important because, instead of using more fossil fuel-powered generators, we’re providing clean energy on site for affected communities.