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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

LUMA asks regulator for fee to cover costs of interconnecting renewables to grid

By The Star Staff

LUMA Energy has informed the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) of the need to collect $0.007/kWh beginning this year in utility bills to cover incremental interconnection costs of solar energy projects to the grid.

The information is contained in a memorandum of law submitted in February in which LUMA Energy requested confidential treatment of a document titled Tranche 1 Interconnection costs, which contained responses to certain questions from the PREB. The Tranche 1 projects are from a tender launched in February 2021 in which the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority sought to procure about 1,000 MW of renewable energy capacity and 500 MW of battery storage capacity. The final list entailed 16 projects.

In the document, LUMA Energy redacted information related to the costs of interconnecting the projects to the grid, contending that the matter was still under negotiation.

In response to the questions the PREB had about the need to collect $0.007/KWh, LUMA Energy said the estimate was produced as a calculation utilizing the 2024 load forecast estimates, which had uncertainty as to the final number of projects, the final interconnection location for the AES/CFE projects originally planned to interconnect at Aguirre, and the timing of the approval of the Energy Bureau for the collection of the cost discrepancy through the purchase power charged adjustment (PPCA).

“The calculation sought to collect the difference between the amounts contributed by the developers and the required amounts of the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) Lump Sum as well as the cost estimates of LUMA’s scope of supervision and project management,” the document notes.

While the STAR could not find information on whether the PREB had approved the $0,007/kwh fee, the PREB in a resolution last week told LUMA that it had agreed to allow LUMA to use the PPCA factor to cover certain discrepancies in interconnection costs in existing jobs for the Tranche 1 projects.

The PREB also said it had ordered LUMA in February to prepare an estimate of the portion of the expenses to be recovered through the PPCA for the costs of interconnection for the second quarter of 2024, taking into consideration the itineraries of existing construction of the Tranche 1 projects.

LUMA did not submit the required information. As a result, the PREB ordered the private operator to submit it this week when it presents the quarterly reconciliations of fuel and purchased power costs for December through February.

“The Energy Bureau orders LUMA to include the total estimated costs of interconnection of Tranche 1 projects in the factor analysis proposed to be submitted on March 25, 2024,” the PREB said.

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1 Comment

William Rosa
William Rosa
Mar 25

LUMA Energy seems to know no limits to their enrichment plan. Sometimes you get the impression that if not daily at least weekly, LUMA comes up with a new service/cost that was not foresee in the initial negotiations with the PPD/PNP. This pattern is not only troublesome in itself but the maneuvering to get to the money, we must say, it's creative; the zigzagging between the public and the private sectors reveal the strategy to occult their activities. Under the conditions that PR is subsisting this behavior must be denounce as irresponsible and unpatriotic.

We are asking the very same people that got PR in the current situation, to get it out which they had demonstrate being incapable of doing.…

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