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Puerto Rico requires up to 500MW of emergency power supply

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, October 13, 2022
Puerto Rico requires up to 500MW of emergency power supply

The potential risk of load shed in Puerto Rico due to a power generation shortfall has increased following Hurricane Fiona, according to Luma Energy.

Luma, which took over transmission and distribution operations last year from power utility PREPA, provided the outlook at a conference convened by energy regulator PREB.

The private operator said that “urgent and immediate” action is required and recommended that authorities begin sourcing 300MW-500MW in emergency portable generation to stabilize the grid for the next 12-18 months.

An assessment also is needed to replace the emergency portable generation, it added.

Luma highlighted that although generators are working to put plants back in service, the long-term impacts of the hurricane will not be known for weeks or months.

In addition, the postponement of planned maintenance in October and the fall has created a backlog.

“Taking into account the damage from Hurricane Fiona, preliminary estimates are that the loss of load event (LOLE) probability has increased from approximately 8.8 events per year, to as high as 50 events per year under worse case scenario (compared to 0.1 events per year recognized as industry planning standard),” Luma said in its presentation.

For its part, PREB ordered Luma to develop a stabilization plan in coordination with PREPA and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, with reports due on the 1st and 15th of each month.

Source: Luma Energy

INTEGRATED RESOURCE PLAN

Meanwhile, PREB returned to PREPA the latter’s request to amend the integrated resource plan (IRP) to convert units at the San Juan power plant to dual fuel.

“Under the OMA’s [operation and maintenance agreement] provisions, Luma is the entity charged with the responsibility to request amendments or waiver to the approved IRP,” the watchdog said.

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