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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Fiscal board seeks expedited permits for solar projects deemed critical infrastructure


Last month, the Financial Oversight and Management Board informed Clean Flexible Energy that it was going to classify Jobos Solar and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), the Salinas Solar and BESS project, and the Naguabo A & B Solar project as “critical projects” under Title V of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act.

By The Star Staff


The Financial Oversight and Management Board asked 16 agencies and municipalities on Thursday to issue expedited permits for three solar power projects that were declared critical infrastructure.


The expedited permits must be issued by May 23.


If the agencies and municipalities fail to submit the expedited permits in a timely manner, “the Oversight Board will develop, in consultation with the Governor, an Expedited Permitting Process” on the agency’s or city’s behalf pursuant to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), the oversight board said.


The three solar projects were presented by Clean Flexible Energy, a subsidiary of AES Puerto Rico, which sells energy produced by coal to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).


Last month, the oversight board informed Clean Flexible Energy that it was going to classify Jobos Solar and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), the Salinas Solar and BESS project, and the Naguabo A & B Solar project as “critical projects” under Title V of PROMESA.


Title V of PROMESA establishes a process for the renewal of the vital infrastructure of Puerto Rico through the establishment of expedited procedures for the review and granting of permits of those projects considered “critical,” such as energy projects.


According to PROMESA, the projects must meet certain criteria related to their impact in an emergency; availability of funds to implement the project; cost of the project and amount of Puerto Rico government funds required, if any; and the environmental and economic benefits provided by the project.


The statute creates the position of revitalization coordinator, which is currently vacant, to determine if the projects in question can be classified as critical infrastructure and to make recommendations to the oversight board.


Clean Flexible Energy had asked the oversight board last November to consider its projects for Title V classification, the board said.


The oversight board then issued a letter to CFE President Jesús Bolinaga requesting additional information to assist with a review.

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