Speedy deployment of the 5.2 GW deliberate photo voltaic and storage in Puerto Rico, a risk raised in a report by six nationwide laboratories, would require an enchancment in Puerto Rico’s utility practices. An ordered procurement course of suffers from delays at a number of steps.
From pv journal USA
Six US nationwide laboratories describe in a report how Puerto Rico can attain 40% renewable electrical energy by 2025, as mandated by Puerto Rico’s Power Public Coverage Act, generally known as Act 17).
The US territory might attain 36% renewables by 2025 if 3.75 GW of utility-scale photo voltaic and 1.5 GW of storage are constructed and linked, matching a purchase order mandate mandated for native utility PREPA. This might occur by the tip of 2025, which might be “a really speedy deployment,” the nationwide laboratories mentioned in a report.
To achieve 40% would require an extra “lots of of megawatts” of renewable technology, the report says, assuming a capability issue of 20% for the preliminary 3.75 GW of photo voltaic.
To date, delays in a number of levels have slowed down the six tranches of the deliberate buy of renewables that the Puerto Rico Power Bureau ordered PREPA to do in an order in August 2020.
Whereas the Power Bureau order guided PREPA to problem requests for proposals for the primary 5 procurements by the tip of the yr 2022, solely two RFPs have been issued up to now.
Within the first procurement, PREPA required all bidders to submit a “finest and closing provide” not as soon as, however 4 occasions, mentioned PJ Wilson, president of the Photo voltaic and Power Storage Affiliation of Puerto Rico. Then PREPA instructed bidders they needed to bid a set value of about 10.5 cents/kWh, Wilson mentioned, including “the entire course of was uncommon, drawn out, unclear, and painful.” The Power Bureau has employed the consulting agency Accion Group to supervise the second procurement, “and certain” future procurements, Wilson mentioned.
One other hurdle is that photo voltaic and storage initiatives accepted by PREPA should even be accepted by the Monetary Oversight and Administration Board (FOMB), a physique created by a 2016 US regulation.
After photo voltaic initiatives within the first procurement get all the mandatory approvals, there’s a closing step generally known as the “deadline.” Wilson mentioned his understanding was that the cut-off dates have been scheduled individually for all of the initiatives and have been unfold out over a number of months, and that “till the ultimate closing contracts are signed, there should be the builders again out.”
Consequently, the primary buy has not but resulted in any signed contracts with the builders of the 845 MW photo voltaic initiatives, Wilson mentioned. Two vitality storage initiatives for buy, with a complete of 220 MW / 880 MWh, are awaiting approval from the FOMB, he added.
For the second procurement, though no data on bids has been posted on-line, Wilson mentioned “informally now we have heard” that greater than 40 bids totaling 1,800 MW of initiatives have been submitted.
As for the third buy, for which the Power Bureau has guided PREPA to problem an RFP in December 2021, Accion Group has not but introduced when the RFP might be issued, Wilson mentioned.
Though Puerto Rico’s Act 17 mandates that PREPA attain 20% renewables by 2022, renewables present 3% of technology by 2022, mentioned Marisol Bonnet, group lead for the US Division of Power’s Puerto Rico Power Restoration Crew. of Power, throughout a webinar describing the report of six nationwide laboratories.
Extra key findings
Accelerated near-term deployment of utility-scale photo voltaic, land-based wind, and storage will scale back system funding and working prices, the report says, and by 2025 these assets might be scarcer. than the price of working fossil-fueled mills. That evaluation doesn’t but consider incentives beneath the US Inflation Discount Act, which the research group will embrace because it prepares a closing research this yr.
The speedy deployment of fossil-fired and renewable technology might result in “vital stranded belongings,” the report warned, if distributed technology similar to rooftop photo voltaic and storage ultimately dominate the vitality provide. in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico can enhance vitality reliability and resilience to hurricanes, the report advises, with two rooftop photo voltaic plus storage, and digital energy vegetation that mixture storage.
Requested within the webinar how the Federal Emergency Administration Company’s work is addressing technology shortfalls in Puerto Rico whereas transitioning to renewable assets, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell mentioned “any technology work that provides to the FEMA on the system is short-term, to permit for emergency repairs to be made on the present system.” A nonprofit group has filed a lawsuit towards FEMA beneath the Freedom of Data Act to reveal its funding for renewable versus fossil technology.
Wilson, whose group in Puerto Rico is a participant within the “PR100” initiative that produced the report, mentioned that the initiative is a “house for all stakeholders to hitch minds to study technical path” for the island to succeed in 100% renewable electrical energy by 2050—the ultimate mandate of Puerto Rico’s Act 17. The PR100 course of, he mentioned, “additionally encourages federal funding to align with Puerto Rico vitality coverage, native resilience wants and trade finest practices.”
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