Thousands are still without power all across the Carolinas and generators are in high demand.

One local company has designed a way to provide a generator that doesn’t need gas. The idea was inspired by last year’s hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Maria left the entire island of Puerto Rico without power and that inspired David Rodriguez to donate generators. But he couldn’t find one that used renewable energy — then he had a light bulb moment.

He says, “The idea flashed through my head at that point, I thought we could do a much better job building one of these units.”

So he designed it in Rochester a generator run by the sun – the only work required is installation. “After that there’s no expense run on maintenance. There’s no oil or gasoline that goes into it, once it’s running, it’s running.”

Next step: Build a factory on the island. RIT graduate Aaron Bailey was there. “We got started immediately,” he says.

He saw first-hand why this project mattered. “There were street lights, traffic signals that were still out a year later.”

The factory is now up and running with over 100 units in place, to get those impacted in Puerto Rico up and running.