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.
Governor Rosselló is reported to have sent the bill back to a committee over the massive tax credit it would reward to renewable energy projects, but other 100% renewable energy legislation is in the works.
Solar providers have expressed concern about language allowing charges on net-metered systems, and IEEFA warns that the bill will enable a rush to gas.
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