Puerto Rico
Press Release

Puerto Rico Announces Agreement with the Mountain Energy Consortium for the Development of a Micro Grid Project

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, June 02, 2021

This Governor's Office release was published using machine translation.

(June 2, 2021) - Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi turned into reality what several municipalities in the mountain were asking for for more than a year, and is to reach an agreement for the development of the first micro network, which considers the use of the Toro Negro Hydroelectric Power Plant to the Consorcio Energético de la Montaña. The Consortium, made up of the municipalities of Orocovis, Villalba, Morovis, Barranquitas and Ciales, seeks to rehabilitate the hydroelectric plant so that it is part of a renewable energy and energy self-sufficiency project in the mountainous area of the Island.

“Through this agreement, the Mountain Energy Consortium and the Electric Power Authority will initiate the procedures to make the project viable and the use of the Toro Negro Hydroelectric Plant as part of it. This will help produce renewable energy, which leads us to continue complying with our public energy policy that seeks to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. This step we are taking today shows that when we unite wills, it is the people who benefit and that political ideologies do not matter, this government responds equally to everyone, "said the governor.

The chief executive congratulated the mayors of the Consortium for promoting this project for the production of solar and hydroelectric energy. “Although it is true that Hurricane María left destruction in its wake, it also achieved a resilient Puerto Rico and an example of this is what emerged with this hydroelectric plant that managed to energize 30 percent of the municipality of Villalba for more than 40 days. , in which the connection with the Electric Power Authority system could be restored ”, he added.

As reported, in each municipality a solar energy system will be built that will produce 20 megawatts and 50 megawatts in the case of Villalba. In addition, all the systems will be integrated into a network that will be controlled from the Toro Negro Hydroelectric Plant in the municipality of Villalba, which will produce an additional 10 megawatts. This microgrid, which will produce about 130 megawatts of energy, will serve about 150 thousand inhabitants of the five municipalities and will have a storage capacity of 417 megawatts.

“Although the generation and distribution of energy in Puerto Rico has always been a challenge, Hurricane Maria exposed the vulnerabilities of the current system. The central mountainous sector was the most affected, taking months to recover the service. This was devastating for our economy and our people. Today more than ever we are looking for new possibilities and innovation in our system. The signing of this agreement for the Consorcio Energético de la Montaña is an achievement of the municipalities that compose it and an additional sample of everything that mayors can do, applying administrative experience, the vocation for public service and the vision to generate effective solutions. I thank the governor, the fellow mayors and all the people and entities that have understood the importance of expanding the framework of options for the generation of electricity. We welcome all of them to our Energy Consortium of the Mountain ”, expressed the mayor of Villalba, Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz.

For his part, the Mayor of Orocovis, Jesús Colón Berlingeri, indicated that “this Consortium is an innovative model that we have mapped out towards the challenges ahead. It is a joint effort and vision towards the future. The Consorcio Energético de la Montaña has the purpose of being ahead of the times and being independent to provide the residents of the towns in the interior of the island with safe and eco-friendly options. It is a new initiative for the energy era that we all long for and that comes from inland to eventually be emulated in the new Puerto Rico ”.

The amount of $ 5 million is estimated for the start of this project, coming from CDBG-DR funds, which will be used for the planning phase.

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