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21 Oct 2011

Renewable Energy in Puerto Rico

Author: Stefan | Filed under: House

Warning – Utilities in Puerto Rico are expensive! Every year Puerto Rico produces 20.92 billion kWh of electricity and we use it all! It’s crazy, power bills are way more expensive than the bills we got in California before we moved here and the average income in Puerto Rico is $16,300 a year with a 12% unemployment rate. How do people pay their electricity bills?

I say all this even though we are still in California, because I miss home. One of the things I think about are the beautiful Trade Winds consistently blowing through the house. Without fail, almost every day, those Trade Winds start blowing through Rincon around 10am and don’t settle down until 3 or 4 o’clock. When we were in Palm Springs a couple weekends ago, I took a few pictures of the mesmerizing windmill farms. They are everywhere.

Renewable Energy in Palm Springs

Renewable Energy in Palm Springs

So, it makes me wonder. It would be great to subsidize our power bills with wind or solar power. I need to think money though, does Puerto Rico recognize renewable power additions to your home in tax breaks or credits? Is it considered when your house is being appraised for a refinance or sale? How many solar panels do you actually need to power a 4,000 square foot house? How much do battery back ups cost and do you need a lot of space to store the fuel cells?

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5 Responses to “Renewable Energy in Puerto Rico”

  1. Carol Says:

    If you have solar panels and/or solar water heater there’s a tax credit. I’m not sure of how much but it exists.

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  2. Eric Says:

    I have been thinking about the same thing. It would be a dream to have even a semi-self-efficient home; especially, regarding the cost of power on the island. I live in Bo. Pueblo so not maximum real estate for a windmill farm (although there are compact high efficiency windmills for residential homes), but we do have a large flat unobstructed roof that could be utilized for solar paneling.

    Below is a link to a site that shares some incentive information regarding renewable energy and residential use in Puerto Rico.

    http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/homeowner.cfm?state=PR&re=1&ee=0

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  3. Jeff Says:

    First, forget small wind power. It’s a scam in 99% of the cases. Put that money in Solar.

    Lets focus on Solar. A you know we have 2KWatt system with battery backup. We only use 6 to 8 KWH per day. You need to know what you use before you can begin.

    PR has an good incentive program for a Grid Tied system. You can get 60% off if you are lucky.
    Forget the battery backup unless your power goes out frequently AND you use <10KWH/day otherwise it gets really expensive.

    Good news is the price of panels has been going down. It’s less than $2 a watt for Name Brand UL approved panels.

    A grid tied system is the most cost effective type of system. With the 60% rebate a grid tied system could save you money in 5 to 10 years.

    Just guessing at what you would need. 5K worth of panels * 4 sun hours (the cloudy weather really lowers your production) = 20KWH/day or $5 *31 days =$155 a month? 5KW might cost $8K for panels, $4K for the inverter, wire boxes ect $1K, Mounting system $3K, Design and installation $5K. This is just my guess using STATE SIDE prices, $21K. The 60% rebate might require you to use a PR company. I found that PR companies were 30 – 50 % more for the same item.

    It’s a lot of work if you try to do it yourself and you will still need a licensed PE and PREPA to sign off on it.

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  4. 2011 cheap Says:

    If you have solar panels and/or solar water heater there’s a tax credit. I’m not sure of how much but it exists.It’s a lot of work if you try to do it yourself and you will still need a licensed PE and PREPA to sign off on it.

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  5. Chris Says:

    You might want to look through these websites:
    http://www.prgef.com/ResourcesAndForms.aspx
    and
    http://posharp.com/solar-energy-companies-in-puerto-rico_renewable.aspx?ptype=solar&gtype=country_PR
    Good luck!!

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