Besides reducing costs, this change implies a positive impact for the environment. The development of the project was in charge of Casa Pueblo and Maximo Solar Industries, who has previously collaborated with the non-profit organization Somos Solar to adopt educational institutions around the island and to energize them with solar power.
The project takes on a special significance during the celebration of the tenth anniversary of Radio Casa Pueblo, which became the main source of information of the towns of the central region of Puerto Rico during hurricane Maria. The fact that it now operated 100 percent with solar power allows for the continuity of its operations without depending on the fluctuations of the electric system.
Arturo Massol Deyá, associate director of Casa Pueblo, said that “Radio Casa Pueblo marks a new path for telecommunications. After hurricane Maria, communications collapsed for several reasons such as collapsed antennas, impassable access roads, and the lack of fuel for power generators. Although Casa Pueblo already worked with solar power, the transmitter still depended on a power generator. The high conventional costs of operating this transmitter strained the daily operation of our radio station. This solar project that we have been able to finish in a record time liberates us from onerous expenses and leaves better prepared, not only for our daily work but also to face emergencies.”
The project required an investment of nearly $73,000 in combined funds from Casa Pueblo and Maximo Solar Industries, and the donation of batteries from U.S. manufacturer Mk Battery/East Penn. Thus, Radio Casa Pueblo ensures the continuation of its educational and informative activities which, for over a decade, have promoted self-management and the appreciation and protection of our natural, human, and cultural resources.
The renewable energy project consisted of the installation of 42 solar panels of 260 watts each, producing around 16,000 annual KWh, combined with a UNIGY II 48AVR95-93 battery that provide clean energy to power the total operation of the station. Due to its peculiarity and the importance of Radio Casa Pueblo for the island, this is one of the most significant projects for Maximo Solar.
“The energy transformation of Puerto Rico towards a cleaner and sustainable model requires palpable, concrete actions”, said Máximo Torres, president of Maximo Solar Industries. “Today we are participants of a real initiative to help one of many energy projects that produce and store their energy. These are projects that greatly contribute to improving Puerto Rico and its communities”, Torres added.
Without a doubt, Radio Casa Pueblo positions itself at the forefront of community-based communication projects, similar to others in Africa and Europe. “We announced this great news with emphasis and a spirit of celebration, because we want to become a model to be followed by other communication media locally and in the Caribbean. For the next emergency, we will be better prepared to communicate, avoid tragedies, and serve our communities”, Massol said.
Radio Casa Pueblo broadcasts through the 1020AM frequency in the central zone of Puerto Rico, and via Internet through www.casapueblo.org and TuneIn Radio.