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Puerto Rico Aims for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

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Puerto Rico Aims for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

With Power Panel’s previous hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, we have witnessed and experienced the powerful impact solar energy can have on families who are living without power – It’s simply life-changing.  In preparation for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season (June 1-November 30, 2019), it is only fitting that we celebrate the latest renewable energy news released regarding Puerto Rico’s continued efforts to strengthen their commitment to renewable energy.

On March 25, 2019, the government of Puerto Rico passed a bill to ensure that the island’s energy source is 100% renewable by 2050.  The bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Ricardo Rosselló in the coming weeks. The ‘Puerto Rico Public Energy Policy Act’ (Senate Bill 1121) follows up on Law 120 (passed in June 2018) which was formed in response to the devastation endured after Hurricanes (Irma and Maria) caused the failure of 80% of Puerto Rico’s transmission and distribution network.  Following the widespread damage sustained from Hurricane Maria in 2017, approximately 1.5 million residents were without power for nearly one year, and Puerto Rico is doing everything within its power to ensure that residents do not undergo such losses in the future.

While the goal is set for 2050, the progress will be incremental.  As soon as 2025, Puerto Rico is committed to having 40% of its electricity derived from renewable energy sources and 50% by 2040, prior to reaching its goal of 100% by 2050.  Additionally, coal-fired power plants will be banned from the island in less than ten years (by 2028); on the island there is currently only one coal plant which is a 454 MW facility based in Guayama (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration).  The bill will also carry strict deadlines for distribution of solar interconnections: 90 days for systems from 25 kW to 5 MW and automatic interconnection for smaller projects (under 25 kW).  Other key components of the bill include:

·        Reduces utility approval time to 90 days for commercial and industrial solar projects.

·        Creates a 5-year window of full compensation for consumers’ solar energy production

·        Provides solar energy users with access to net energy metering within one month of a system’s installation

·        Exempts solar electric storage equipment from sales taxes

·        Requires utilities to purchase SRECs for renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance

·        Implements a 30% energy efficiency requirement

·        Maintains "true net metering" for the next 5 years, with 20-year grandfathering for new clients

·        Eliminates the 5-year recertification requirement for net metered systems

For Puerto Rico, and worldwide, renewable energy is a solid path leading to environmental and economic security that could spare families and communities from some of the life-altering destruction sustained in hurricanes and similar natural disasters.

To learn more about Power Panel and how its solar-thermal technology can provide a sustainable and secure energy source for you, contact us.