A Puerto Rico Community Pushes for Rooftop Solar as Fossil-Fuel Plants Face Retirement

Land for large solar arrays is limited on the island. Rooftop panels can provide electricity during blackouts and bring the island closer to its clean energy goals.

GUAYAMA, PUERTO RICO — The coastal communities of Guayama and Salinas in southern Puerto Rico feature acres of vibrant green farmland, and a rich, biodiverse estuary, the protected Jobos Bay, which stretches between the neighboring townships. But this would-be tropical paradise is also the home of both a 52-year-old oil-fired power plant and a 22-year-old coal-fired power plant, which local residents say contaminate their drinking water and air, and harm people’s health.