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Hurricane Maria:

Solar saves Puerto Rican Farm

On September 20th, Hurricane Maria paid a devastating visit to Puerto Rico. Widespread power outages have ravaged Puerto Rico, but one flower nursery was already back in business, thanks to its $300,000 investment in solar power.

The company in question is Cali Nurseries that is located in the central Puerto Rican town Barranquitas. Six years ago, owner Hector Santiago installed 244 solar panels to power his 40-acre business. At that time, as reported in a news item by Reuters, this decision raised many eyebrows of people in the region, because of the high cost, Now, however, it enables the farm to continue work, while the rest of the country stands in line to get diesel for their power generators.

The Category 5 hurricane did damage his property. About a week after the storm, Santiago told the Philladelphia Tribune that his greenhouses and other buildings on the 40 acres were ripped to shreds by 155 mph winds and driving rain. He estimated the losses at $1.5 million.

Fortunately, the solar panels remained largely intact and were able to keep water pumps going during the storm. Santiago told Reuters that, with the electricity prices going up after the storm, the investment paid off really fast.

Photo that accompanied his post of October 13.

And Santiago is working hard to get back on track and is 'fighting' for the industry to continue. Last week (October 13), he posted the following on Cali Nurseries Facebook page. "Maria hit us but you will not beat us! Here we have many families committed to our agriculture and ready to take the most beautiful plants in the world. With scars of the hurricane but more beautiful than ever with God's favor."

Photos that accompanied his post of October 13.

With Puerto Rico's electrical grid demolished, many in the country see a growing market for renewable energy.

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