PREB approves adding 430MW in battery storage capacity
By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) has given the green light to add 430 megawatts (MW) of battery storage capacity that will last four consecutive hours to make the power grid more resilient.
The resolution issued by the PREB on Wednesday details the implementation of advanced battery energy storage systems (BESS) that will offer essential services, such as frequency regulation and power reserve, to maintain the continuity and reliability of the electrical supply on the island at a time when consumers are enduring blackouts daily.
The battery units will be placed in Daguao, Yabucoa, Jobos, the Aguirre Power Plant, Costa Sur Power Plant, Cambalache Power Plant, Vega Baja, Palo Seco Power Plant, and San Juan Power Plant, according to the PREB resolution.
The PREB agreed to the battery system after Genera PR, the private operator of the island’s power plants, made a request on Oct. 27. The approval is conditioned on obtaining authorization from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency. Genera said the intention is to incorporate BESSes with existing conventional generation units, peakers or baseload, at each location to maximize the electrical injection capacity available without overloading existing grid capabilities.
The systems, whose total cost has been estimated at $630 million, will enable the integration of renewable generation and will provide a rapid response capacity against unforeseen fluctuations in demand or generation, thus strengthening the stability of the network in the event of occurrences that may put the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s interconnection system at risk, according to the PREB.
PREB Chairman Edison Avilés Deliz stressed that “the incorporation of these electrical storage systems is a critical component to modernize our infrastructure and to achieve the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050.”
“These will not only improve the quality and reliability of electricity service, but also represent a step forward in our ability to manage energy demand and reduce polluting emissions efficiently,” he said.
The systems are also designed to offer distributed generation service and help mitigate demand peaks without overloading the existing grid or compromising system integrity.