By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) in an order issued this week granted a request by LUMA Energy to extend the presentation of a new integrated resource plan (IRP), the long-term blueprint of Puerto Rico’s energy needs, to the end of June 2024.
The original deadline to turn over the IRP was March 2024.
LUMA Energy, the private operator of PREPA’s transmission and distribution system, had requested the extension in November so it could work with its contractor Black and Veatch on the plan. The PREB, which is the island’s energy industry regulator, is requesting the inclusion of a scoreboard in the IRP filing and updated information about the electric vehicle forecast for certain municipalities, according to information provided in the Dec. 20 filing at the PREB.
The proposed IRP will replace the current one approved a few years back.
On Aug. 24, 2020, the PREB issued an order approving a modified IRP for PREPA that, according to environmentalists, had some of the positives and negatives.
PREPA had proposed to replace the island’s dependence on imported oil with dependence on imported liquified natural gas (LNG). The PREB largely rejected PREPA’s proposal to gasify the island’s grid. The regulator denied plans for LNG terminals and new gas-fired combined cycle generation turbines (CCGTs) at Mayagüez and Yabucoa, and it denied a proposal to convert the 200-megawatt (MW) Mayagüez peaker plant to gas.
The PREB required PREPA to consider retirement of the San Juan gas-fired CCGT in the next integrated resource plan but did allow PREPA to consider a CCGT as part of a supply-side resource at Palo Seco. It did allow PREPA to include gas-fired resources in an all-source request for proposals to replace 88 MW of older peaker plants. The Palo Seco CCGT proposal was based on an assumption that PREPA could obtain gas from a nearby LNG terminal built by New Fortress Energy.
The PREB also ruled that the AES coal plant in Guayama could continue operating until December 2027 and that PREPA could consider a conversion of this plant to run on gas in the next integrated resource plan proceeding. AES is pondering replacing it with a solar plant.