Puerto Rico's new regulatory regime will be the first in the world to manage the transformation from a traditional vertical utility, central generation model to a distributed "prosumer" model. This is a keystone area that can facilitate or hinder successful recovery and transformation, and serve to lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty. Puerto Rico has the privilege and the responsibility to rewrite the utility regulatory handbook for the 21st century. There are some examples and road maps for part of what must be done but zero precedents for the direction in which Puerto Rico must and will move. It needs consistently thoughtful, pragmatic, and innovative voices to help it along the way. The Fundación Borincana will be one of those voices and is working with other groups in this important endeavor.
On April 11, 2019 Governor Roselló signed into law ACT 17-2019
the Energy Public policy act
Act 17-2019 is one of the most advanced in the entire world. Click HERE to see a summary prepared by McConnell Valdez LLP
URGENT: Integrated Resource Plan
One of THE seminal events shaping the world’s energy future is about to take place and almost no one is paying attention!!!
Puerto Rico is breaking in a new regulatory body and energy policy and is about to pass regulatory review on PREPA’s (soon to be privatized utility) Integrated Resource Plan (“IRP”) which will set the direction and pace for system redevelopment, financing, ownership, and operations for the next 20 years.
There is cause for optimism and pessimism in the parts of the IRP. It calls for the rebuild of the grid into eight zones that can be synchronized and de-synchronized to support island wide resiliency. It also calls for historically ambitious amounts of grid connected and rooftop solar (2000MW) and storage (1000MW) - it is only when you consider the amounts that could and probably should be built that these numbers shrink in perspective. The IRP also phases out oil and coal and calls for the development of nearly 2000MW of combined cycle and peaking units run on imported LNG together with import facilities and pipelines.
Puerto Rico is embarking on a path to build a first of its kind modern distributed energy infrastructure based on renewable energy. If this was not challenge enough, Puerto Rico must simultaneously deal with bankruptcy, a poverty rate above 40%, infrastructure destroyed by hurricanes, a shrinking population, and potential exodus of its manufacturing base. This makes forecasting and planning nearly impossible and puts immense pressure on decision makers to favor short term, politically expedient solutions.
Decisions made in Puerto Rico will be critical to its success AND will be copied all over the world in other markets as they move toward similar goals. It is imperative that Puerto Rico’s regulatory policy and system design are given the best possible chance to become a successful example.
History is made by those who show up!
The fossil fuel companies will be represented. So will the traditional utility faction.
Puerto Rico is grappling with system design issues now that will not even be on the radar of most markets for years. Relatively small modifications now will have enormous reverberations over time. There is a virtual clean slate for the recommendation and adoption of policies and programs at this primordial stage. Puerto Rico should be encouraged to be proactive and reasonably experimental.
There can be no more impactful dollars spent today than intervening in the regulatory formation of the Puerto Rican energy market.
This is a wake up call. Timing is critical. The IRP is with the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau who have until the middle of March 2019 to determine if it meets the requirements of the law. At that point, the comment period will begin.
The Fundación has assembled a core team of experts. We are looking to secure funding, expand the team, and coordinate with other groups to share resources and reduce costs.
Support us NOW with your time, energy, and Dollars!