Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Governor won’t commit to 15 cents per kWh in Puerto Rico

By on March 9, 2018

SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló did not commit Friday to bring the price of electricity to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as requested by Puerto Rico’s industrial and manufacturing sector.

Rosselló also said the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) privatization bill is only the first step in the transformation of the public corporation.

His remarks at the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association Caucus suggested that changes in Prepa will take longer than originally established. The governor has said the power company’s transformation should take 18 months.

Bill to privatize Puerto Rico utility eliminates provisions to prevent power rate hike

Rosselló said he will try to bring the kWh “to less than 20 cents” but did not promise to try to lower the price to 15 cents a kWh as the private sector requests.

He also said that before the request for proposals (RFP) to sell the utility is issued, the fiscal plan, which will contain information on the transformation process, must first be certified. Completion of the integrated resource plan, which is being re-evaluated, is also necessary.

Rosselló stressed that “the regulator must be a key component” in efforts to control the price of electricity. The Prepa privatization bill, however, prevents the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, which regulates the industry, from interfering in the sale of utility installations. The process would not be required to abide by what is established in the Prepa’s integrated resource plan.

“Once all of that has begun, then the RFP starts,” he said.

“Privatization is a mechanism but not the end goal, which is to have a modern and efficient system,” he added.

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