Puerto Rico gas conversion project hits snag

Monday, October 17, 2016

Puerto Rico power utility AEE appealed energy commission CEPR's decision not to approve the company's integrated resource plan, and has requested total approval of the Aguirre OffShore Gasport (AOGP) project.

"AOGP's principal objective is compliance with [the US EPA's] Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which is why the proposed modification by the commission would delay compliance by at least five or six years, as a new licensing process would be required," AEE's chief executive Javier Quintana Méndez (in photo) said in a statement.

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In a resolution, CEPR ordered AEE to submit a modified integrated resource plan, highlighting the utility's financial constraints amid the island's economic crisis.

AEE also requested that CEPR reevaluate its ruling that permitting begin simultaneously for the new Aguirre combined cycle and the revamp of the combined cycle.

The electricity provider argues that environmental quality board JCA and permit management office OGPe will not simultaneously carry out two licensing processes for the same purpose, in the same location and for the same units.

Meanwhile, AEE submitted a CEPR-approved regulation to the state department for the purchase, evaluation, selection, negotiation and establishment of energy and generation park modernization contracts.

"The establishment of the joint regulation is an important and necessary step to begin the modernization of our generation park," said Quintana. "Putting into effect the regulation will end the practice of presenting generation proposals not solicited by AEE and guarantees transparency in public tender processes."

AEE is carrying out a technical and feasibility analysis for a new generation project in the north.