How to restore Puerto Rico's power and empower sustainable energy globally

July 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After the catastrophe caused by 2017’s Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans were left without electricity for months. Now, researchers are exploring the best plan to reform electricity access on the Caribbean island, as well as ways to improve national and global energy systems to meet the demands of net-zero carbon emission.

Cecilio Ortiz Garcia and Marla Perez-Lugo, co-founders of the University of Puerto Rico’s National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability, will speak about the effort to reform electricity access on the island at this month’s Science on Tap event, which will take place at 7 p.m. July 16 at Federal Tap House in downtown State College.

After Hurricane Maria, the Department of Energy recognized the University of Puerto Rico’s National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability as “the foundation in which to firmly establish Puerto Rico as a Center for Excellence on distributed grid operations, and could also provide both the supply of interdisciplinary engineers and policymakers Puerto Rico will need and the expertise other island and remote grid systems will need in their transition to a distributed, resilient electric sector."

Ortiz is a senior fellow on resilience at the National Council for Science and the Environment in Washington, D.C., as well as a distinguished research fellow at the Global Resiliency Institute at Northeastern University in Boston and a summer research scholar in energy security and resilience at Penn State. Perez-Lugo is currently an appointed member of the Environmental Protection Agency's and the National Institutes of Health's national advisory committee, a resilience fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment, and, currently, a summer research scholar in energy security and resilience at Penn State.

Attendees are reminded that they must be 21 years of age, or older, to attend. Note that the lecture will include topics intended for a mature audience.

About Science on Tap

The event is part of the monthly Science on Tap series, which is designed to allow informal discussions between leading Penn State researchers and members of the public.

Science on Tap is presented by the Science Policy Society, a graduate student-run organization that aims to teach researchers about the connection between their research and public policy. For more information, visit the society’s website.

Last Updated July 11, 2019