Governor clarifies that customer choice won’t be among Puerto Rico power providers but whether to use grid
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló insisted Monday that the sale of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) will give consumers the power to choose among several options to meet their energy needs under a model that uses renewables as well as natural gas.
During a televised message in January to announce the sale of Prepa, Rosselló insisted that under the sale, “you will have the power to choose between several options.”
However, several Prepa officials denied the idea of a free selection among energy providers. The governor clarified, however, that what he meant was that consumers will have the option to whether connect to the power company’s grid.
“The option is that, I, as a consumer can say I’m not satisfied with this system and have the alternative of not only leaving it but of having my own generation and remain connected to the Puerto Rico electrical system as a backup. The people would have a diversity of alternatives there. For example, I can generate my own energy; I can generate energy and sell it to the authority; I can choose to have a solar and battery system as if it were a generator or as a backup to the regular energy system,” Rosselló said.
“The big change is that, for the first time in the history of Puerto Rico, citizens will have options,” he said, noting that there will be no penalty for “using microgrids.”
The governor reiterated that he wants Puerto Rico to leave behind fossil fuels for energy generation and move toward producing energy using renewable sources. In fact, Siemens, the company that is drafting Prepa’s integrated resource plan, has proposed the use 10 mini-grid systems to power Puerto Rico.
Rosselló said he visualizes a system in which 40% of the energy produced comes from renewable sources and remaining portion is generated from natural gas, as a transition fuel.
“The aspiration to reach the 40% mark in renewables, does not change. And that is different from what some people seek for Puerto Rico. This does not mean we should not use gas because gas is a much cheaper and better fuel than oil or diesel,” Rosselló added.