Powering Puerto Rico

Powering Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico, 2017: It all started with a storm and a car battery.

Eugene Smotkin, a Northeastern University professor, was home in San Juan for the summer when two disasters struck: His wife had a stroke and Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, leaving more than 3 million people without electricity. After days of powering a cell phone and a small fan with a car battery, Eugene and his wife were finally able to make it to Boston for the medical treatment she desperately needed.

Back on campus, he has an idea: In conjunction with just a few solar panels, Eugene believes he can make a fully functional, affordable, renewable nanogrid system powered by reconditioned hybrid car batteries. And he wants to do so all over Puerto Rico, giving back electricity to a neglected energy populace at a fraction of the current cost.

This is a film about Puerto Rico’s resilience through hardship—and one man’s ingenuity in bringing power to the masses.

Directed by Adam Fischer (USA)

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