The San Juan Daily Star
LUMA seeks $165 million from DOE for grid enhancement
By The Star Staff
LUMA Energy, the private operator of the Puerto Rico Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution system, is seeking about $165 million in financing for two grid enhancement projects, according to a BNamericas report.
Documents from the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) show that LUMA plans to seek funds from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) matching grant program for innovative grid projects.
LUMA said $600 million is appropriated annually for the program for fiscal years 2022-26, with a maximum of $50 million for each project. Therefore, the parties involved in the grant request for each project should spend an equivalent amount as cost-share, the publication said.
One of LUMA’s projects is deploying real-time situational awareness and control technologies to increase grid flexibility and resilience, mitigate the impact of extreme weather, and facilitate the reliable integration of renewable energies.
LUMA has partnered with V&R Energy, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez campus and the Colorado College of Mines for the $65 million project.
The second project is the “Puerto Rico Northeastern Energy Innovation Alliance for Outage Anticipation, Response, and Self-Healing Control During Abnormal Weather,” a $100 million initiative with research institutions, utilities and companies, including Eversource, Con Edison, Avangrid and Line Vision.
BNamericas notes that LUMA estimates the project should be completed by 2027 if it obtains funding.
LUMA recently launched modernization work at El Conquistador Substation, one of 11 substation modernization projects in 2023, through $101 million in already approved federal funds. Over the coming months, LUMA will also move ahead with work on substations in Aguirre, Añasco, Cataño, Culebra, Monacillos, Mora, Río Grande, Sabana Llana, Venezuela and Vieques. Meanwhile, modernization work was completed on March 14 at the Naguabo Substation, improving the reliability and resiliency of the distribution network for the eastern region.