Puerto Rico reaches out to DR for green energy expertise
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico government officials have asked Dominican Republic executives for professionals to participate in the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transformation to renewable energy sources.
Listín Diario, a newspaper in the Dominican Republic, noted that Puerto Rico’s director of energy policy, Francisco Berríos Portela, traveled to the Dominican Republic to present businessmen in the renewable energy sector with job opportunities worth more than $9 billion to rebuild the entire electrical system of the island. The money is the product of federal funds granted by hurricanes Irma and Maria and the 2020 earthquakes.
“The reality is that Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have a natural lifelong relationship. I believe that Puerto Ricans are welcomed very well here as well as Dominicans there; obviously we are brothers,” said Berríos, as quoted by Listín Diario. “I have been a little surprised by the enormous amount of work that you have here and that perhaps will limit the help that you are going to be able to give us there, so the challenge is not only for Puerto Rico, but for the entire region that we have to work with the labor force, specifically.”
The official participated in Latam Future Energy, an event that promotes renewable energy in the region.
“We were participating as a panelist on the renewable energy projects that are going to be developed in Puerto Rico soon and that we are interested in promoting outside of Puerto Rico, because we recognize that we need help to be able to develop those projects,” he said.
Berríos noted that Puerto Rico needs engineers and specialists in electrical grid designs, “which is a market that did not exist on the island and now it is huge, since the electrical grid was completed in the ’70s, so there is very little that was done” in electrical design.
“Also [needed are] workers, electricians and personnel from other areas,” he added.
The Dominican Republic, one of the region’s fastest growing economies, is aiming to draw at least 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025 and has signed several power-purchase agreements for solar power over the past year.