The San Juan Daily Star
Bidding process for medical center microgrid to be published Friday
A planned solar-powered microgrid at the Río Piedras Medical Center is expected to help improve the reliability of the power systems at the medical center, which hurricanes Irma and Maria hit hard.
By THE STAR STAFF
On Friday the island government will publish the bidding process to develop, operate and maintain a solar panel-powered microgrid for the Río Piedras Medical Center, according to a press release.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, island Housing Secretary William Rodríguez Rodríguez and the head of the Puerto Rico Medical Services Administration (ASEM by its Spanish acronym), Jorge Matta González, recently announced the signing of an agreement that will allow the construction of the electrical microgrid at the island’s primary health complex, the first project under the Energy Reliability and Resilience Program (ER-2).
The agreement between the Housing Department and ASEM establishes the allocation of $1.3 million for the administration of the project. The primary objective of the ER-2 program is to assist subrecipients in creating greater reliability and resiliency of the electrical system and equitable access to electricity throughout the island.
The project will be posted on the cdbg-dr.pr.gov website, according to a Feb. 3 press release.
“As we have announced, the first project of the ER-2 program will be the microgrid for the Puerto Rico Medical Center. It is a critical facility, particularly in times of emergency, which is why we have prioritized this project, which will help us avoid running out of power and thus be able to provide non-stop medical services to our people,” the governor said. “This is the first of multiple microgrids these funds will help develop around the entire island.”
Pierluisi added that “the energy demand of the Medical Center complex is estimated at approximately 40 megawatts.”
“To cover it, a project will be built that maximizes the spaces available for using solar panels on roofs and in parking lots, combined with high-capacity battery systems, efficient generation, and advanced control systems,” he said.
The microgrid will help improve the reliability of the power systems at the Medical Center, which hurricanes Irma and Maria hit hard. It will reduce power costs at the Trauma Center and Emergency Room, the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, the Cardiovascular, Industrial, Oncological, University, Pediatric and Psychiatric Hospitals, and the Forensic Psychiatry Hospital, as well as the San Juan Municipal Hospital, the Comprehensive Cancer Center and its Research Center, various Department of Health facilities and the Institute of Forensic Sciences.
The U.S. Department of Energy and its national laboratories will provide technical assistance and expertise to the ER-2 program and all related initiatives, including the bidding processes and implementation of the Medical Center’s microgrids.