DOE works with Puerto Rico on advancing clean energy, improving grid resilience

Published on February 04, 2022 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with government partners to strengthen Puerto Rico’s grid resilience and advance its clean energy goals.

The DOE, along with the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico recently launched the PR100 Study – a roadmap to help the island improve its grid resiliency and achieve 100 percent renewable electricity.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is helping Puerto Rico strengthen the island’s resilience, and in the process unlock its potential for cheap and abundant renewable energy,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “Today’s commitments and the launch of the PR100 Study show that 2022 will be a year of action to modernize Puerto Rico’s grid and increase energy resilience as we accelerate our work with Puerto Rico to execute data-driven, community-tailored pathways towards 100% clean electricity. DOE is proud to partner with Governor Pierluisi to help deliver a more reliable grid, good-paying jobs, lower utility bills, and healthier air to the more than 3 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico.”

Specifically, the PR100 Study will engage stakeholders and assess climate risks through the lens of energy justice; assess the full potential of renewable energy; model clean energy scenarios to achieve 100 percent renewable energy; and analyze system reliability, resilience, and economic impact.

“One of my top priorities as Governor of Puerto Rico since I took office has been to ensure that Puerto Rico’s energy transformation moves forward at a steady and reliable pace. I will make sure that every federal fund appropriated to Puerto Rico and allocated for the reconstruction of the power grid is used efficiently and effectively,” Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said. “I thank the Biden Administration for partnering with us to help us achieve our main goal: transforming our energy system into a more resilient, reliable, affordable, and clean one.”

The PR100 Study is funded by FEMA through an interagency agreement with DOE’s Office of Electricity to support recovery efforts in Puerto Rico’s energy sector. It leverages the expertise and capabilities of the National Laboratories including Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, NREL, Oak Ridge, PNNL, and Sandia. The PR100 Study is modeled after the Los Angeles “100% Renewable Energy Study.”

Many grid modernization projects are already in the works in Puerto Rico. It is expected that at least 138 projects will be under construction, bidding, or have begun initial construction activities, including island-wide substation repairs, the replacement of thousands of streetlights across five municipalities, and the creation of an early warning system to improve dam safety.

Also, Puerto Rico’s utility will sign contracts for at least 2 GW of renewable energy and 1 GW of energy storage projects. The island is also procuring 3750 MW of renewable energy and 1500 MW of energy storage.