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Gov. Vázquez announces conversion of San Juan Power Plant units to natural gas

By on May 22, 2020

SAN JUAN – Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced, along with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) CEO José Ortiz Vázquez and the founder and CEO of New Fortress Energy (NFE), Wes Edens, toured the new NFE facilities in San Juan, a natural gas terminal the supplies fuel to units 5 and 6 of the San Juan Central plant.

NFE recently completed the construction at the San Juan pier, which entailed a private investment of $100 million, according to the governor’s news release.

“The conversion and commissioning of units 5 and 6 with natural gas will allow for a cheaper and cleaner fuel, which will translate into direct benefits for all PREPA customers. These benefits will create monthly savings of an average of $8 and $12 dollars for residential customers and $6,000 to $8,000 dollars for industrial customers. This is another step forward in our energy transformation,” Vázquez said in the release.

“This project links the different initiatives that Prepa pursues within the development of infrastructure, in compliance with the Integrated Resources Plan and the Certified Fiscal Plan, whose objective is to transform the island’s energy sector,” the release reads, adding that the project was developed “in compliance with the proposals for the transformation of the electrical system, contained in the provisions of Law 57 of 2014, better known as the Energy Transformation and Relief Law.”

Ortiz added that “we will continue to comply with the Fiscal Plan while providing our customers a cleaner environment and the best possible economic conditions for the people of Puerto Rico.”

The conversion is expected to save Prepa about $150 million annually over five years and resulted in a combined generation capacity of 440 megawatts.

The construction of the NFE terminal created 250 temporary jobs, and 50 permanent jobs.

“We are proud to invest in Puerto Rico and modernize the island’s energy landscape,” Edens is quoted as saying. “Our facilities in San Juan allow small and large customers to generate savings and reduce emissions utilizing natural gas. The completion and commissioning of the terminal during these difficult times were only possible thanks to the combined efforts of our contractors, our employees, and our partners at PREPA. This great achievement reaffirms our commitment to the economic recovery and growth of Puerto Rico.”

Jennifer M. Storipan, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, said that after hurricanes “Irma and María devastated our island and left millions of Puerto Ricans without power, creating the largest blackout in our nation, we knew a critical change towards clean energy was vital to creating a more resilient grid. PRFAA will continue to assist PREPA in its efforts to work with the federal government to ensure that residents on the island have access to this essential service as we prepare for the 2020 Hurricane season.”

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