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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Fiscal board orders LUMA to expedite permits for solar projects

Financial Oversight and Management Board Executive Director Robert Mujica, at left

By The Star Staff

The Financial Oversight and Management Board has required LUMA Energy, the private operator of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution system, to issue by July 31 an expedited permitting process to enable the development of three solar projects.

The information is in a letter dated July 17 sent by the executive director of the oversight board, Robert Mujica, to LUMA Energy Chief Regulatory Officer Mario Hurtado.

On Nov. 8, 2022, Clean Flexible Energy (CFE), a subsidiary of AES Puerto Rico, which sells energy produced by coal to PREPA, submitted documents to the oversight board in connection with three projects: Jobos Solar + BESS, Salinas Solar + BESS, and Naguabo A & B Solar. On March 6 of this year, after reviewing CFE’s initial submissions, the board issued a letter to CFE President Jesús Bolinaga requesting additional information to assist with its review. The oversight board (FOMB) finished reviewing the applicable submissions and determined them to be complete.

“We have determined that LUMA will have a role related to the development of one or more of the CFE projects,” the letter notes. “Therefore, LUMA is required to submit to the FOMB its expedited permitting process by 31 July. If LUMA fails to submit the expedited permitting process in a timely manner, the FOMB will develop, in consultation with the governor, an expedited permitting process on LUMA’s behalf.”

The oversight board also gave 15 commonwealth entities until May 23 to issue their respective expedited permitting process for the development of the solar projects, but the status of the permits was not provided.

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