Puerto Rico’s utility has revised its long-term plan to account for the island territory’s new 100% renewable electricity mandate. However, many details look the same – including a lack of interest in utilizing distributed generation to meet reliability needs.
In this interview with pv magazine, New Energy Nexus CXO Jon Bonanno describes the significant opportunity presented by the federal Opportunity Zone program – and the limited window of time to take full advantage of the program.
Governor Rosselló has signed legislation moving the island to 100% renewable energy, while both the Trump Administration and the island’s utility push for a greater dependence on gas.
Senate Bill 1121 has been given final approval by the Puerto Rico legislature and is headed to the desk of Governor Ricardo Rosselló. When passed, it will make the island the fifth state-level jurisdiction to establish a 100% zero-carbon and/or renewable energy mandate.
A bill to mandate that the island’s electric system move to 100% renewable energy by 2050 has passed the Puerto Rico Senate and is being sent to the House for reconciliation, the last stop before it is expected to be signed by Governor Rosselló.
PREPA’s draft IRP calls for rapid deployment of solar and batteries, including the installation of as much battery storage as is currently online in the entire United States over the next four years, in a system broken up into “minigrids”. However, it stops short of utilizing behind-the-meter PV and storage.
One of the best tools that would allow utilities to meet their central stated mission of providing a stable electricity supply is one they are fighting the hardest.
The Puerto Rico utility’s favored generation plan, in a report prepared by Siemens, involves an LNG terminal at San Juan and would achieve only 55% renewables by 2038. A scenario without LNG would reach 79% renewables by 2038 at comparable cost, based on undisclosed cost assumptions.
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