On February 21, 2023, the Grid Deployment Office launched the Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund (PR-ERF) to support Puerto Rico’s grid resilience efforts and achieve the goal for the commonwealth to meet 100% of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2050. After recent natural disasters and decades of underinvestment in the electric grid, this fund is being developed in consultation with local entities and communities to increase energy resilience and reduce the energy burden of vulnerable residents. The PR-ERF is managed by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office (GDO) in consultation with the Federal Energy Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Background on the PR-ERF 

After Hurricane Fiona in October 2022, President Biden visited the island and committed to leveraging the technical support of Federal agencies to support improvements to Puerto Rico’s electric grid. In December 2022, President Biden signed the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act into law, which included $1 billion for the establishment of the PR-ERF to drive key investments in renewable and resilient energy infrastructure in Puerto Rico. On February 21, 2023, the Grid Deployment Office officially launched the fund. 

Secretary Granholm greets members of Barrio Eléctrico at a solar and storage system tour in Isabela.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm greets members of Barrio Eléctrico at a solar and storage system tour in Isabela, Puerto Rico.

First Round Funding Opportunity Announcement

On July 31, 2023, GDO released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $450 million to support residential rooftop solar and battery storage installations and offer consumer protection and education resources. Potential applicants may include private industry, educational institutions, state and local governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and energy cooperatives. Through this deployment-focused funding, DOE aims to incentivize the installation of roughly 30,000–40,000 residential solar and battery systems for Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable households. DOE will identify and enroll households through the Programa Acceso Solar (Solar Access Program). Qualified beneficiaries of the systems installed by selected partners will include very low-income, single-family households that are either located in areas that have a high percentage of very low-income households and experience frequent and prolonged power outages or contain a family member with an energy-dependent disability, such as individuals who need electric wheelchairs for mobility or those that use at-home dialysis machines.

In November 2023, GDO announced the selectees for this FOA, including three solar companies and five nonprofits and cooperatives to begin negotiations for up to $440 million to install residential solar systems, as well as two nonprofits to support households with education, training, and consumer protection for these systems.

Click here for more information on the FOA and its selectees.

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Programa Acceso Solar (Solar Access Program)

In February 2024, DOE launched the Programa Acceso Solar (Solar Access Program) to connect low-income Puerto Rican households with subsidized residential solar and battery storage systems. This initiative is funded through Topic Area 1 of the PR-ERF FOA.

Residents of Puerto Rico can visit energy.gov/solarPR to check their eligibility, prepare required documentation, and identify their local Solar Ambassador. Potential applicants are encouraged to review eligibility requirements and reach out to their respective Solar Ambassadors as soon as possible.

Residents may be eligible for the Programa Acceso Solar if they fit all three of the following criteria: 

  1. They are low-income, as demonstrated by enrollment in a government assistance program (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Nutrition Assistance Program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  2. They own the single-family home in which they currently reside
  3. And EITHER: A resident of their household relies on an electricity or battery-dependent medical device due to a medical condition or disability OR their address is eligible for an installation. DOE has identified eligible regions across Puerto Rico based on if they have a high percentage of low-income residents AND experience long and frequent power outages. Instructions for confirming address eligibility are available on energy.gov/SolarPR.

Solar Ambassador Prize

To ensure that the FOA selectees can quickly deploy solar and battery systems where they are most needed, the Solar Ambassador Prize is a complementary competitive funding opportunity for organizations in Puerto Rico to assist DOE in identifying, engaging, and assisting with intake processing of qualifying households for residential solar and battery installations.

In November 2023, DOE announced that it will award a total of $3.85 million to 16 community organizations selected to assist in this work.

Click here for more information on the recipients of the Solar Ambassador Prize.

Solar Ambassador Prize
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Puerto Rican Stakeholder Engagement is Vital

The development of the PR-ERF has relied heavily on local collaboration and centers community priorities for improving energy resiliency in Puerto Rico. On February 21, 2023, DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI) to collect feedback about both short- and long-term energy solutions including residential rooftop solar deployment, community and critical service energy resilience, partnerships with non-profit organizations, and workforce training to sustain Puerto Rico’s clean energy economy. Comments are being used to inform the implementation strategy for the PR-ERF, including identifying priority energy technologies and solutions, eligibility, funding structure, and timing.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm discusses energy resilience at La Margarita in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm discusses energy resilience at La Margarita in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

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Additional Links

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60-Day Federal Register Notice: PR-ERF Household Intake Form

This document, concerning the Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund Household Intake Form, is an action issued by the Department of Energy.  Though it is not intended or expected, should any discrepancy occur between the document posted here and the document published in the Federal Register, the Federal Register publication controls.  This document is being made available through the Internet solely to facilitate the public's access to this document.