Energy Bureau greenlights 19 capital improvement projects at PREPA power plants
By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) on Thursday gave the green light to 19 capital improvement projects for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) at the Costa Sur, Palo Seco, San Juan and Aguirre power plants.
The projects represent an investment of $51.5 million according to the scope of work (SOW) that PREPA presented to the regulator.
“Among several proposals that the Authority presented to the Bureau, these 19 projects represent a necessary investment to provide PREPA customers with continuity in the delivery of energy since we are restoring the generation plants, some of which still experience operational challenges as result, among other issues, of the passage of the 2017 hurricanes,” PREB chairman Edison Avilés Deliz said.
The projects will now have to get the approval of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The investment will not impact power rates since the approval is conditioned on PREPA seeking reimbursement under various FEMA programs, which may include the Public Assistance Program (Section 428) or Section 404 programs.
The approved SOWs seek to improve the reliability of generation resources, increase their availability and provide a continuous generation service; repair damage to equipment and plant areas; and renovate facilities to perform to pre-disaster codes and standards.
In a resolution containing a description of the projects, PREPA included the cost estimate, equipment specifications, and corresponding bids for the applicable projects, as well as the documents for the projects that would be carried out by an exclusive supplier, if this was the case.
As part of the approval process, the PREB requested information related to the status of each of the generation projects, how and when the investment will help achieve the return availability of the units, the date the unit would be available, and the duration and availability status of the unit after the investment.