Unidos por Utuado
Founder and Executive Director
C. P. Smith is the Founder and Executive Director of Unidos por Utuado. Unidos por Utuado is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to helping the residents in the municipality of Utuado and other vulnerable residents in the Cordillera Central. Unidos por Utuado started operations on the 4th day after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. Initial aid consisted of the basics of water, food and clothing with a focus on supporting the refuge centers in Utuado. As the need of the residents changed so did the service provision, including the distribution of thousands of water filters and hundreds of mini-solar panels and lighting systems for families with members who required medical care throughout the night, be it a mother with her newborn or a family caring for their own with late-stage hospice care. As several barrios remained without electricity for more than 11 months it became apparent to the Board of Directors of Unidos por Utuado that every resident of Utuado could receive a water filter and mini-solar panel and the problems would remain because the root cause of the problem stemmed from political, social and structural failures. This realization became the seed for Unidos por Utuado’s principal project: La Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de La Montaña.
La Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de La Montaña is Puerto Rico’s first electric cooperative and is focused on providing cost-effective, resilient electricity from renewable sources for residents of the municipalities of Adjuntas, Jayuya and Utuado. The cooperative is managing, in parallel, two energy security projects: the Hidroenergía Renace consortium focused on the rehabilitation of 43MW of WWII-era hydroelectric generative capacity that is currently only generating occasionally 6MW; and Proyecto ReEnFoCo focused on the development, financing, installation and maintenance of 5MW of commercial and residential solar systems leveraging an on-bill financing model for the residents of the cooperative’s service area. C.P. serves as the Executive Director for La Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de La Montaña.
In a prior life, C.P. worked for a few years in the EPC and O&M divisions at SunPower – a PV manufacturer, installer and maintainer.