One of LUMA’s parent firms wants to be allowed to bid on green energy tenders
By The Star Staff
Quanta Services, one of the parent companies of LUMA Energy, the private operator of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution system, asked the island’s energy sector regulator to remove it from the list of firms banned from participating in any capacity in any of six tenders for renewable energy projects.
The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB), in a resolution dated Sept. 1, gave PREPA five days to file its reply.
On Feb. 22, 2021, PREPA issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the first of six renewable energy tenders. As part of the process, PREPA issued a list of “Restricted Parties,” and neither they nor their respective directors, officers, partners, employees, and persons, or legal entities related to them have since been eligible to participate as team members or to otherwise assist any proponent or team member, directly or indirectly, in the tender. In doing so, PREPA sought to avoid possible conflicts of interest.
“Proponents should be aware that the list of restricted parties is not exhaustive and that a person that is not included as a restricted party may still be prohibited from participating in the proposal and project,” PREPA said. “Finally, except as to any Restricted Party, the fact that a person provides or has provided services to PREPA, PREB, or the [Financial Oversight and Management Board] in matters not related to the proposal and project may not automatically prohibit such person from participating in the proposal and project.”
The PREB later removed PREPA from overseeing the six proposed tenders in 2021 and decided to hire an independent contractor to manage the tenders, arguing that PREPA was too slow in increasing the use of renewable sources. In January 2022, PREB assigned the new responsibilities to Accion Group.
Accion Group has conducted the tenders for Tranche 2 and 3 already. The deadline to bid for the third tranche of renewable energy tenders was Sept. 1.
Since PREPA had initially included Quanta as a restricted party in the RFP for Tranche 1, the PREB has continued to include Quanta as a Restricted Party in the RFPs for Tranche 2 and for Tranche 3.
On July 18 of this year, Quanta sent a letter to the Accion Group seeking its removal from the “Restricted Parties” inclusion.
Quanta specifically requested that Accion Group consider revising the restrictions on “Restricted Parties” for all past and current tranches of renewable energy generation and energy storage resource projects and any future RFPs to allow Quanta and similarly restricted companies to participate as contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and vendors in the development, design, engineering, procurement, construction, supply, installation, commissioning, testing or maintenance of those projects.
“Please note that Quanta is not requesting that it or any of its companies or similarly situated service providers be allowed to participate in such projects as a Proponent or Resource Provider or to own otherwise or operate energy generation resources,” the PREB resolution says.
The 24 parties restricted from participating in the tenders in any capacity include ATCO, LUMA Energy’s other parent company, and LUMA Energy itself.