Monday, June 24, 2019

Greenbriar Capital, Puerto Rico utility in ‘nonstop’ negotiations on $305 million solar project deal

By on May 28, 2019

(Screen capture of www.greenbriarcapitalcorp.com)

Developer says it can deliver more power

SAN JUAN — Canadian Greenbriar Capital Corp., a developer of sustainable real estate, real estate blockchain, artificial intelligence and renewable energy projects, announced that it continues negotiating with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) to move forward a massive solar power project in the southwestern shore of the island.

In a statement issued Monday, the company, which recently moved its headquarters to Ohio, said nonstop negotiations are underway with the island’s public electric utility and its consultants, Filsinger Energy Partners, and attorneys King & Spalding, to permit the so-called Montalva Project to proceed.

Under the guidance of Luis Bacó, who was appointed special consultant in January, the company and Prepa have essentially come to terms on pricing, Greenbriar said.

Bacó is a senior vice president at Capitol Hill Consulting Group and International Policy Solutions. He served as chief of staff to Puerto Rico Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón and was a capital partner and director of the Washington, D.C., office of Puerto Rico-based McConnell Valdés law firm. He also served as chief of staff to then-Congressman Luis G. Fortuño, and was deputy executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. According to a release issued by Aegis Health Analytics, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare consulting firm, of which he is a board member, Bacó began his “career in Washington as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to” then-Resident Commissioner Carlos Romero Barceló in 1992.

“During the negotiating process, Prepa learned that the Montalva site can easily accommodate 145 Megawatts AC of capacity, 45% more than the original contract,” Greenbriar said Monday.

In February, the firm said the project under negotiation is shovel-ready and will be the largest renewable energy project in the Caribbean, saving Prepa customers “between $1 [billion] and $2 billion” over its 25- to 35-year lifespan. The undertaking is expected to employ 900 workers during the construction phase and “over 1,000 indirect jobs will be created for suppliers, transport, accommodations, etc.” The $305 million project will be located in, “and provide substantially to the tax base of the municipalities of Guanica and Lajas,” the company said.

Greenbriar has been asked to revise its proposal to include the increased capacity, a timeline to commence construction and funding sources for the project. The company said it secured funding last year. The company expects to file the revised proposal by the end of this week, it said Monday.

Greenbriar is also in talks with a Canadian based clean energy producer regarding a relationship for Montalva and other solar projects in Puerto Rico.

“The company advises its shareholders that since Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted the island, timelines and processes have taken much longer than anticipated and such delays are out of the company’s control. However, based on our revised proposal and subject to final sign off by Prepa and the Federal Oversight and Management Board (which previously recommended our project) the company expects to start construction before the end of the year,” the firm said.

In October, when Greenbriar announced it had moved to Boise for, among other reasons, its “highly favourable tax and fiscal regime,” the developer said it had “almost one billion dollars of projects on the books including: a $1.9 billion solar energy contract in Puerto Rico; an 1,100-home subdivision in California; and a leading real estate blockchain software that removes the risks” in real estate transactions.

“We have always believed this is a world class project, and we look forward to working with PREPA to getting it done. It will give PREPA what it needs most…affordable, safe and reliable clean energy for the citizens of Puerto Rico,” Greenbriar CEO Jeff Ciachurski said in February.