Puerto Rico

Arensis off-grid power system delivered to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Arensis provided a biomass conversion system and engineering staff to turn fallen trees and hurricane debris into distributed energy until power is restored to the community. 
Arensis off-grid power system delivered to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Arensis, an international provider of distributed energy and portfolio company of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), has announced the initiation of its disaster relief plan, bringing off-grid energy systems to the victims of Hurricane Maria in remote areas of Puerto Rico. The initial Arensis biomass-to-energy power unit is being relocated from Lufthansa’s operations at the Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla to the City of Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic devastation, Arensis has reiterated its commitment to Puerto Rico, helping to reenergise the first non-contiguous Promise Zone designated region in the US. The initial unit, delivering a combined 50 kW of electricity and 120 kW of thermal energy, will immediately begin powering Fajardo’s Sports Complex, which is currently being used as a refugee shelter and distribution centre. The company is also shipping a debris processor and will relocate staff to run the system and produce fuel on site using debris and woody biomass from the hurricane’s destruction. This will be the first non-diesel derived power solution for the region with the ability for the community to use their own debris materials as fuel to generate clean energy.

“We’ve all heard the reports that it will be many months before electricity is restored to Puerto Rico” said Arensis CEO, Julien Uhlig. “Though 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 are glad to support the desperately needed relief now and feel continued building of smart and efficient microgrids is an important alternative to having only one source of energy on the island.”

Designated a Promise Zone, aimed at directing federal resources to high-poverty 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 not only deliver immediate relief but also develop an integrated industry solution to help create jobs and support the clean energy rebuilding effort.

“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” said Manuel Laboy Rivera, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC). “Collaboration is key in this difficult, yet hopeful hour”.

Mayor of Fajardo, Aníbal Meléndez Rivera, added that during the humanitarian crisis, Puerto Rican communities welcome all help. There has been some progress but the majority of the people are still without power and the flow of aid has been slow. Like most of Puerto Rico, Fajardo communities and neighbourhoods were left cut off without communication, water, essential supplies and power from the monster hurricane.

Arensis will donate an Entrade E4 Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system, providing 50 kW of electricity and 120 kW of thermal energy, for a period of at least six months, 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 currently underway. Each unit fits inside a 20-foot shipping container. Arensis is focusing its disruptive technology on fostering a decentralised micro-grid energy revolution for Puerto Rico. 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 respectively helping with transport of Arensis units and providing contractors and integration equipment.

Arensis, an international provider of distributed energy systems, is headquartered at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). The energy solutions provided by Arensis are based on the most advanced German biomass and waste-to-energy technology in the market. The E4 (and soon to be released E5) systems each generate 50 kW of electricity and 120 kW of thermal energy and fit in a 20-foot shipping container for easy and fast deployment around the world. When combined and stacked together, Arensis power systems can supply several megawatts of energy completely off the grid and be installed in weeks, not years. The units are built for primary baseload generation, producing 24/7 energy by converting both organic and inorganic waste materials into renewable Combined Heat Power and Cooling (CHPC). Arensis has been one of the fastest growing decentralised energy providers in the world, deploying more than 150 units and raising more than $40 million since 2016.

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