Energy Bureau authorizes the purchase of rapid response generation units
By The Star Staff
Recently, the Energy Bureau of the Public Utility Regulatory Board issued a resolution authorizing the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s use of federal funds to acquire seven rapid response generation units, or peakers, in electricity demand.
Said authorization orders the amendment of the Authority’s request to conform it to the Approved Integrated Resource Plan so that the units to be acquired may also operate, eventually, with renewable fuel, specifically green hydrogen.
The Bureau also clarified that, although the Authority justified its request by alluding to the generation deficiency allegedly caused by Hurricane Fiona, the entry into operation of these units would take approximately four and a half years, according to information provided by PREPA itself.
The regulatory agency also required the Authority to initiate a mini-grid planning and optimization process so that these units to be acquired can be integrated and geographically located in the most efficient way to the transmission and distribution system. To this end, it also required that the units be mobile so that, after the optimization process, they can be relocated if that is the final determination.
Finally, the Bureau also required that the peakers can be used as synchronous condensers, which will facilitate the integration of more renewable generation resources into the electric grid. These systems ensure the reliable and efficient operation of power grids by providing reactive power compensation, and additional short-circuit energy capacity.
“With this decision, the Bureau is ensuring compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan while securing the transition to renewable energy that Puerto Rico has already undertaken. Buying new peakers that can only use fossil fuels would be tying us back for several decades to dependence on imported, costly, and polluting energy sources,” explained the president of the Bureau, engineer, and attorney Edison Avilés Deliz.