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Private Sector Coalition Offers Recommendations at Congressional Hearing on Energy

By on January 12, 2016

SAN JUAN – The president of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, Carlos Rivera Vélez, representing the Private Sector Coalition of Puerto Rico, presented the U.S. Congress with recommendations geared toward improving energy costs on the island.

Rivera Vélez testified at the oversight hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

The executive discussed the energy challenges and opportunities faced by Puerto Rico, particularly the deficiencies of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa). Rivera Vélez stressed the significant impact of energy costs on the island’s competitiveness and ability to do business.

In its presentation the Private Sector Coalition recommended at a federal level the revitalization of the current memorandum of understanding between the Energy Department and the government of Puerto Rico. The organization also requested that the necessary funds be assigned to the Insular Affairs Office of the Department of the Interior to complete work with Puerto Rico on the modeling and implementation of a solution that provides the island with energy that is “competitive, transparent, diverse and dynamic that can become a key catalyst for economic recuperation and sustained development of the island.”

At a national level, the coalition has called for the application of various elements destined to make possible the beginning of the transformation of the agency as well as economic development. These include a structured, competitive and cost conscious restructuring of the debt; the assertive integration of renewable energy resources in Prepa’s infrastructure; and the immediate application of wheeling, or the transfer of electrical power through transmission and distribution lines from one utility’s service area to another’s, as well as the modernization of the current network of plants, and the incorporation of cheaper and cleaner fuels such as liquefied natural gas.

The coalition also asked for information transparency and the modernization of the information system platform, and the resourcing of the Energy Commission as an independent entity representing consumer, commerce and industry to supervise all the process of development and setting of energy rates.

By Inter News Service

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