Black Start: Future of Energy Summit Proceedings

Black Start_
Future of Energy Summit
March 21, 2019

A dynamic mix of local and international innovators came together in San Juan on March 21 to inspire and help us forge a path towards a new energy future for Puerto Rico.

An audience of 700 attended Black Start: Future of Energy Summit including business and NGO leaders, journalists, decision makers, policy makers, academics, high school & university students and community stakeholders. Over a thousand more from all over the world including Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada have streamed the conference.

Black Start  2019_ was a thought-provoking full day event with genuine discussions on Puerto Rico’s energy future.

The event was possible because of the generous support of our sponsors—particularly Fundación Colibrí, our presenting sponsor, who also made possible Anderson Cooper’s participation. Thanks again to El Nuevo Día-Revista Negocios, AIREKO, Oriental, PRISA group, Environmental Defense Fund, Bermúdez, Longo, Díaz-Massó, LLC, and our event exhibitors.

Black Start 2019_ brought together more than 20 speakers from Puerto Rico, New York, DC, Vermont, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota and Hawaii to discuss the challenges that Puerto Rico’s energy system faces and reimagine the path for the island to develop a cutting-edge and resilient energy infrastructure. For your convenience we have divided all the panels into sections.

Watch each panel by clicking on the images below.

All speakers’ presentation slides are available on our website.

Laying out the Vision

The first panel outlined a comprehensive vision for Puerto Rico’s energy future.
  • Sergio M. Marxuach – CNE
  • Luis A. Avilés – University of Puerto Rico Law School
  • David Bissell – Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative
  • Janine Migden-Ostrander – Regulatory Assistance Project
  • Kenneth J. Nemeth – Southern States Energy Board

Game Changers: Local Innovators and Policymakers

Participants learned from local community leaders, nonprofit organizations and key lawmakers about efforts underway to encourage a new energy model – one that will adapt to rapid changes in technological advances.
  • Anderson Cooper – Journalist
  • Malu Blázquez – ReImagina Puerto Rico
  • Josen Rossi – Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy
  • Ruth Santiago – Lawyer
  • Hon. Larry Seilhamer – Puerto Rico Senate Vice President
  • Hon. Eduardo Bhatia – Puerto Rico Senate Minority Leader

Reboot: Adapting for a Sustainable Future

Anderson Cooper and Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund,  discussed today’s most pressing energy challenges are and how to prepare for tomorrow’s much larger environmental concerns.

Black Marble: Mapping Recovery Through Satellite Data

Dr. Miguel O. Román, Director of the Earth from Space Institute,  shared how space-based technologies can deliver timely, relevant information for disaster recovery processes and provided insight on how to leverage freely accessible satellite products for PREPA’s transformation.

Lightning Rounds: Cutting Edge Technologies

Speakers covered a variety of topics – from the island’s financial challenges and the development of new highly effective generation technologies, to damage mitigation against future man-made and natural disasters.
  • John Farrell – Institute for Local Self Reliance
  • Geoffrey Heal – Columbia University
  • José E. Sánchez – US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Roy Torbert – Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Tomás J. Torres Placa – Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy
  • Ingrid M. Vila-Biaggi – Cambio PR

Panel Discussion: Connecting the Dots

Moderator Jonas Nahm, from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, led the speakers in a stimulating discussion regarding their different perspectives on how to tackle the island’s energy challenges and opportunities.

Isla Earth: What Islands Can Teach the World About Sustainability

Lorraine Akiba, president of ALH Ventures, shared her insights on the lessons learned and best practices from Hawaii’s clean energy initiatives and policies and how islands can lead in transforming the energy sector through resilience and sustainability.