MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Louis Berger, a global infrastructure engineering and development firm, together with the municipality of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, hosted a special event on January 26 celebrating the launch of a pro bono project to restore power to Hogar El Pequeño Joshua, a shelter for children, and to La Perla de Gran Precio, a shelter for women, in the rural mountain village of Barrio Nuevo.
Louis Berger has been working in cooperation with the government of Puerto Rico to identify and assess communities with extended power outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In a joint effort to evaluate and promote more sustainable and resilient infrastructure solutions in Puerto Rico, Louis Berger and its partners – WestGen and AEG, along with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University – identified the foundation La Perla de Gran Precio, which helps women and children in need, as the ideal community to benefit from a pro bono power technology demonstration project.
“We embrace this opportunity to ease the daily life of these women and children, and to help support a renowned foundation that’s been conducting meritorious social work for the past 17 years, while also demonstrating new power solutions for Puerto Rico,” said Tom Lewis, Louis Berger U.S. division president. “The La Perla de Gran Precio project is a part of Louis Berger’s corporate social responsibility program, which is committed to serving and giving back to communities where our employees and clients live and work.”
The objective of the project, implemented at no cost to local residents, is to demonstrate distributed, solar hybrid power technologies while restoring residents’ access to fundamental services that would otherwise not be available until the central power grid is fully restored. As part of Louis Berger’s continuing commitment, the second phase of the project will be to provide a larger capacity solar hybrid microgrid that can provide power to more buildings in the compound.
In addition to improving the quality of life of the community, this pro bono project is part of an effort to raise public and private sector awareness of the benefits of cleaner, distributed, mobile and resilient energy solutions. Especially in storm-prone communities, distributed power generation provides many advantages over reliance on a centralized grid alone. The project will continue until the central power grid is fully restored.
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