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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PREPA chief: Energy regulator likely to consolidate renewables tenders

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Executive Director Josué Colón Ortiz

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico is expected to cut the number of tenders to procure renewable generation projects to four from six, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) Executive Director Josué Colón Ortiz told Energia Estrategica.

Colón Ortiz said the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) would seek in its Tranche 4 to contract projects that would add the amount of renewable generation to reach the 3,750 megawatts (MW) goal established in PREPA’s integrated resources plan (IRP), the blueprint of the island’s energy needs long term.

The IRP contemplates adding 3,750 MW of renewable energy and 1,500 MW of energy storage resources to the commonwealth’s grid through six tranches of the request for proposals (RFP) process. Of those six, Tranche 1 is nearing completion, while the PREB is working on tranches 2 and 3.

Accion Group, which is the independent contractor hired by PREB to manage the tenders, notes that a date for best and final offers has not yet been established for Tranche 2 bids. Best and final offers were not required on Sept. 29 as initially scheduled. Proponents were told they would be notified when those offers will be required once the date is established. However, there are reportedly 16 short-listed projects.

The Tranche 3 RFP, which sought to procure 500 MW of renewable resource generating capacity and 250 MW of energy storage capacity, was launched in February of this year. Bids were due on Sept. 1.

Colón Ortiz said Tranche 4 would consolidate tranches 5 and 6 to contract the remaining capacity and reach the target of 3,750 MW of total renewable power generation.

The PREB did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Last Wednesday, PREPA’s governing board amended six power purchase operating agreements with various companies, three of them part of Tranche 1, the first RFP launched in a 2021 tender to purchase 1,000 MW of energy capacity with 500 MW of battery storage capacity. The goal of the amendments is to increase their capacity.

The PREB expects to have signed contracts for renewable projects under tranches 2 and 3 before mid-2024.

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