COMMITMENT TO ACTION

Solight Design: Empowering Puerto Rico with Solar Lights

Commitment by Solight Design

In 2018, Solight Design, in partnership with the Hispanic Federation, committed to donate and distribute 50,000 SolarPuffs (durable, collapsible solar lanterns) to communities without reliable access to grid power in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico's energy system, leaving some communities without access to electricity seven months after the storm, especially in rural, mountainous areas of the island. The Hispanic Federation has provided funding to procure these lights, and will provide logistical assistance to support distribution. Additional distribution support will be provided by NGO partners including Studio Unite, Puerto Rico Renace, and Operation Blessing. These lights will benefit approximately 50,000 households in the towns of Ciales, Canovanas, San Juan, and Yabucoa. This commitment builds on a previous commitment made by Solight to provide 10,000 lights to Puerto Rico through the Solar Saves Lives initiative; through this commitment, Solight will bring the total number of lights distributed in Puerto Rico to 130,000.



Overview
Summary

Commitment

Solight Design: Empowering Puerto Rico with Solar Lights

Launched

2018

Est. Duration

1 Year

Estimated Total Value

$1,250,000

Region

Latin America & Caribbean

Countries

PUERTO RICO

Commitment by

Solight Design

Partner(s) of the Commitment Maker(s)

Studio Unite; Puerto Rico Renace; Operation Blessing International; Hispanic Federation
Details

The Hispanic Federation will provide funding to support the distribution of 50,000 SolarPuff Solar Lights for recovery and hurricane preparedness to the people of Puerto Rico. SolarPuff solar lights are designed for disaster relief, and have already been distributed in schools in Puerto Rico and Dominica. SolarPuffs are a self-inflating origami solar light that can deliver immediate light sources to households without power and prepare them for the quickly approaching hurricane season. Solight will focus this donation on five towns - Maricao, Ciales, Canovanas, San Juan, and Yabucoa. The Hispanic Federation will also provide logistical support for distribution. Distribution of lights to households will be implemented with NGO partners including Operation Blessing, Puerto Rico Renace, Studio Unite, and Thirdwave Volunteers. These organizations are actively working on the ground in Puerto Rico and well-positioned to identify and meet needs. Importantly, SolarPuffs are designed to be effective in disaster contexts. They are waterproof, highly durable, non-toxic and recyclable, collapsible, lightweight, and function on solar power for three to five years. This commitment expands on Solight Design’s original contribution of 10,000 SolarPuff lights to Puerto Rico through the Solar Saves Lives initiative in 2017. The total number of Solights distributed before this commitment was 80,000 Solar Lights to Puerto Rico. Through this commitment, the total number of lights distributed by Solight will increase to a total of 130,000.

March-June 2018: Manufacture of 50,000 lights. June 2018: Delivery of lights to Puerto Rico. June –July 2018: Distribution with NGO partners to take place on the ground in focus towns.

Background

In 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, disrupting critical infrastructure across the island including reducing its energy grid to 30% of former capacity. Puerto Rico’s Ministry of Planning Economic Development and Investment is working to recover and restore power, and many other organizations are making contributions. Durable, efficient, and user-friendly solar lights can help bridge the gap while the grid is rebuilt, and can equip households with light sources that can be used in future disaster contexts. In these situations, portable lights can be a critical safety tool to reduce thefts and assaults. They are also a needed light source for schoolwork and housework, and even for roadside lighting and public spaces.

Partnership Opportunities

Solight is seeking financial resources to deliver more solar lights to Puerto Rico and Dominica. Solight is offering Solight SolarPuffs and phone charging products to communities in need of alternative energy sources.

Progress Reports

December 2018

As of October 2018, Solight Design, in partnership with the Hispanic Federation, has fulfilled the commitment to distribute 50,000 SolarPuffs (durable, collapsible solar lanterns) to communities without reliable access to grid power in Puerto Rico. These lights benefited approximately 50,000 households in the towns of Ciales, Canovanas, San Juan, and Yabucoa.