Following electricity being wiped out of most of the island of Puerto Rico after the Carribean hurricanes that struck last year, the region is still scrambling to get a proper and stable electric supply. Power Ledger, an Australia-based blockchain firm has now been trying to help resolve electricity related issues in the island region.
The island of Puerto Rico suffered through two major hurricanes in rapid succession last year. Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria resulted in a major loss of life and property in the region in September 2017. However, even eight months after these devastating hurricanes struck, life is yet to be back to normal for many citizens of Puerto Rico. Restoring electricity and maintaining electric supply is a big challenge in the region. Puerto Rico’s hilly regions make it hard to provide power to various remote locations in the interiors of the island - a challenge which the authorities continue to struggle with.
Power Ledger's Efforts in Puerto Rico
Power Ledger has hired Dante Disparte, a Puerto Rican grid resiliency and security expert who will lead Power Ledger’s work in the island. This was confirmed by Jemma Green, the co-founder of the Australian startup. Power Ledger’s primary aim in the region is to help raise funding which would help the country repair its damaged power grid. Moreover, the funds would be used for financing the micro-grid infrastructure (solar panels and battery storage units) of Puerto Rico, in collaboration with local factories and regulators.
With the use of Power Ledger’s blockchain technology, firms in Puerto Rico would be able to trade power with each other - as well as with their employees. Power could be traded in exchange for fiat cash as well as cryptocurrencies. This is an interesting move which would help get the local businesses back on track. Power Ledger has worked on similar projects in the past too, as the company has experience in trading power in Thailand too, where peer-to-peer renewable energy trade is being tested by the company in association with local firms.
Later in 2018, Power Ledger will allow their cryptocurrency investors to make investments in the electricity assets of Puerto Rico with the help of their POWR cryptocurrency tokens. This is expected to help give a major boost to solving the problems of the Puerto Rican electricity crisis.
A Long Road to Recovery
Puerto Rico is facing another crisis following the disaster - a massive exodus, as thousands have left the island region to find work in other places in the US while power gets restored in Puerto Rico. Statistically, it would take another month or two to get the island’s electricity back to the way it was before the hurricane struck - as over 25,000 connections are still to be restored.
To conclude, there is a major sense of urgency when it comes to restoring the power grid in the region. Not only does the system need to be restored, but it also needs to be protected against such calamities - which is a hard task in a hurricane-prone region. To add to the worries of those restoring power in the region, Puerto Rico’s ‘hurricane season’ is all set to return in three weeks as June marks the beginning of the Hurricane season which usually lasts till mid-September.