American Red Cross
At a Glance
Clean and Renewable Energy, Climate Justice/Energy Equity
San Juan, PR
Annual CO2 Reductions:
11,000 metric tons
Ricardo Careaga helped develop a remote monitoring and data collection platform to quantify the impact of the American Red Cross’ Solar Schools Project in Puerto Rico.
The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and preparedness education. After the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, the American Red Cross has been undergoing a long-term recovery program on the island or Puerto Rico to get survivors on a path to recovery and to help Puerto Ricans become more resilient against future extreme weather events. This includes the American Red Cross Solar Schools Project, which has so far equipped 125 schools with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage, totaling 6.75-megawatt (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) power and 13 megawatt-hour (MWh) of storage capacity, to provide reliable energy and safe shelter in the event of future disasters. The American Red Cross enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Ricardo Careaga to capture the economic, environmental and social impact of the Solar Schools Project.
Careaga oversaw the commissioning of the solar installations, ensuring that the communication between the equipment and the monitoring portals functioned correctly. He facilitated the creation of a platform to centralize all solar and storage data gathered. Using this information, Careaga captured the economic, environmental and social impact of the project. Ricardo’s work will enable a proactive maintenance approach to maximize energy generation and extend the systems’ lifespans.
Careaga’s analysis shows that the Solar Schools Project has an annual projection of 13,000 MWh PV generation, which is equivalent to 8% of the PV generation in Puerto Rico, as well as 11,000 metric tons reduction in CO2 emissions, and save nearly $3.5 million in annual costs. With solar plus storage, the energy independence for local communities will increase, providing a source of clean, locally generated, and reliable power.
Careaga’s work to establish remote monitoring and data collection platforms helped ensure the Solar Schools Projects can have lasting impact on the communities in Puerto Rico and contributes to the island’s goal to become 100% renewable by 2050.