sonnen Inc. pledges to build and donate microgrids to help bring emergency power to the people of Puerto Rico
Tuesday, Oct 03, 2017
German energy storage manufacturer sonnen Inc., the global leader in installed and working residential energy storage systems since 2010 and creator of the "sonnenCommunity," announced the "Puerto Rico Energy Security Initiative" (PRESI) to help bring energy security to Puerto Rico, where millions of Americans are currently without electricity.

With over 21,000 actual working installations worldwide, sonnen's energy storage system is uniquely equipped to help provide relief in Puerto Rico, with no delay. In fact, since early 2016, sonnen has had functional energy storage systems installed in Puerto Rico.

sonnen Inc. management has been in communication with its premium partner in Puerto Rico, Pura Energia, since Hurricane Maria hit the island. sonnen and Pura are currently in the process of reaching out to existing customers to ensure that they have critical power and are safe. Still, stable communication between Pura Energia and sonnen has been a challenge due to the extent of the devastation and lack of connectivity on the island. sonnen's next priority is to work with Pura to identify targeted "emergency relief sites," where the German energy storage company can provide a stable microgrid that will make a significant impact on each local community. This includes subsidizing the cost of Pura Energia to install both the sonnen unit and the solar array. As soon as the strategic plan is in place with Pura, sonnen will deploy a team of engineers and technicians to help lead the microgrid campaign locally in Puerto Rico, from system design through final installation.   

"Our smart energy storage system is uniquely positioned to serve as a critical resource during the emergency in Puerto Rico, as it is a fully integrated system with all the components needed to form a true Microgrid without requiring an initial grid connection," said Blake Richetta, Senior Vice President and head of sonnen Inc.'s US Business Unit.

"Many energy storage systems on the market today require an initial grid connection, as well as additional parts for set up, in order to form a true off-grid Microgrid. This is not the case for sonnen, as it is a natural capability of our product. Therefore, it is our duty to step in and bring relief to our countrymen in Puerto Rico, as soon as possible." Prior to joining sonnen, Richetta was North American Sales Manager for Tesla Energy and was charged with selling the Powerwall product.

"Clean and affordable energy for all is the mission of our company. It is what we believe in and it is what drives us every day," said Christoph Ostermann, founder and CEO of sonnen Inc. "What is happening in Puerto Rico is a tragedy and as fellow human beings, it is our duty to stand firmly with the people of Puerto Rico and do everything possible to help start the rebuilding process. From my perspective, there is a clear connection between our mission to support humanity during a climate disaster and our mission to fight climate change."

sonnen is specifically targeting emergency medical clinics that require power for the refrigeration of medicine, as well as emergency shelters across the island.  sonnen management is also interested in partnering with a clean water filtration company, in order to help complement their effort at each microgrid.

sonnen's immediate objective is to begin building microgrids as soon as possible using their existing, high-quality, and tested product. It is critical to understand that this program is not "in theory" or "of potential" but is instead immediately viable. Ostermann's target is to have the first microgrids up and running in less than a month's time – an ambitious but achievable timeline.

sonnen's manufacturing and engineering facility in Atlanta, Georgia has been continuously shipping energy storage systems to the island since Hurricane Maria hit and they plan on focusing the factory heavily on the "Puerto Rico initiative" over the next several months.

"Our plan is to ship a batch of our Eco Energy Storage Systems to Puerto Rico every week, while balancing the rest of our growing business in North America," said Brent Stayer, Vice President of Operations & Quality Control for sonnen Inc. "In fact, we started shipping specifically to support the disaster relief last week. Our biggest challenge at this point will be gaining access to the ports. We remain hopeful that, starting next week, it will become easier to deliver our product to the island."

The entire operation is contingent upon establishing a stronger line of communication with sonnen's friends and partners at Pura Energia. "Pura Energia is a well-established, highly respected and recognized name in solar installation in Puerto Rico, we are so lucky to have such a great partner on the ground," said Carlos Restrepo, Vice President of Technology for sonnen Inc. "The Pura team represents the real heroes here, as they are living within the disaster, working to provide relief for people on the island every day. Without their highly capable team and their passionate work ethic, our campaign would not be feasible."

About sonnen

At sonnen, we believe clean, affordable, and reliable energy for all is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Sonnen is a proven global leader in intelligent energy management solutions that provide greater energy control for residential customers through increased solar self-consumption, reduced peak energy usage and reliable backup power during outages – contributing to a cleaner and more reliable energy future. Sonnen has won several awards for its energy innovations, including the 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize, MIT's Technology Review's 50 Smartest Companies in 2016, Global Cleantech 100 for 2015-2017, Greentech Media's 2016 Grid Edge Award for innovation, and Cleantech's 2015 Company of the Year Award in both Israel and Europe.

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