Politicians, Utilities Team Up On Bold Plan To Rebuild Power Grid In Puerto Rico

Three months after Puerto Rico was hit by back-to-back hurricanes, the island is still struggling with the recovery. In that time, stakeholders have convened a working group for developing a strategy to rebuild the island's power grid.

On December 11, the Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group released a $17.6 billion plan. Titled, "Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico," the report assesses the damage to the grid from the storms, describes a new systems design basis, and proposes recommendations to rebuild the grid.

The report focuses on resiliency to withstand future storms and identifies resources that will enable the island to be more energy independent. It also emphasizes the importance of modern grid technologies and control systems.

The report proposes a new system that relies more on renewable generation, such as wind and solar; incorporates new distributed energy resource technologies, such as energy storage and microgrids; reduces dependency on fossil fuels; and enables energy to become abundant, affordable and sustainable for the people of Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group, which published the plan, was established by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. With the assistance of Navigant Consulting Inc., the group also includes numerous power utilities, agencies and organizations in the energy sector. The group's roster includes, New York Power Authority (NYPA), Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), Puerto Rico Energy Commission, Consolidated Edison (Con Edison), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Edison International, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com.

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