Public comment period for ‘critical’ Puerto Rico projects announced
SAN JUAN – The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico announced Monday the beginning of a 30-day public comment period for four
projects that its revitalization coordinator is considering to fast-track.
Submitted through the Critical Projects Process (CPP) under Promesa, the federal law that also established the board, the projects, all of which are energy-related include New Era Eolic LLC’s Parque Eólico del Norte wind park; Energy Answers International Inc.’s Arecibo Resource Recovery Facility; Norelco’s Energy Optimization at the Ponce and Bayamón correctional institutions; and ARG Precision Corp., PW Power Systems Inc. and Bostonia Partners LLC’s “dual fuel energy generation backup and reserves” for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa).
In total, the board said, the projects would amount to a nearly $1.5 billion in investment of mostly private capital “and have the potential to generate more than 8,200 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
The board urged in its Monday release that parties are encouraged to submit their comments via the CPP website by Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. “All comments will remain posted and available for public viewing during the 30-day period,” it added.
“Hurricanes Irma and María have demonstrated beyond any doubt Puerto Rico’s dire need to revamp and upgrade its electric energy infrastructure. And we must do it quickly. That’s part of the reason why this first generation of projects to be advanced through PROMESA’s Title V Critical Projects Process all address energy issues. We will be considering other types of infrastructure projects also, but right now the Oversight Board’s focus is on projects that can deliver energy solutions quickly,” Revitalization Coordinator Noel Zamot is quoted saying in the release.
After the public comment period, Zamot has 30 days to respond to the comments and make his responses public. He will then have five days to submit a final report to the board, which will include a recommendation from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.
The board will then have 30 days to issue a decision on “project criticality by majority vote,” with “justifications” for the board’s decision to be be published on the CPP website.
The following are the board’s published summaries about the projects:
–Parque Eólico del Norte (North Wind Park), is a renewable, wind energy project with the capacity to generate 19.8 MW[megawatt]/hour, store energy via a grid-designed battery system and transfer energy to the nearby industrial sector. The project, submitted by New Era Eolic LLC., contemplates the installation of six wind turbines at Int. PR-686 687, Barrio Yeguada, Vega Baja.
The turbines would be surrounded by a public recreational park, community and wellness center, PR-veteran memorial, amphitheater and office space for various organizations, including the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources’ Administration of the Laguna de Tortugero Reserve, and the Cycling, Sailing and Rowing federations.
Poised to create 1,200 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
Total investment: $47.5 million ($360 million private capital and $11.5 million federal funds).
Estimated timeline: 18 months.
–The Arecibo Resource Recovery Facility (Arecibo RRF), a nominal gross 80 MW/net 70 MW Resource Recovery Facility, was submitted by Energy Answers International, Inc. through its local subsidiary Arecibo LLC. It is meant to generate baseload renewable energy and recover valuable materials from approximately 2,300 tons per day of municipal solid waste. The project would be located in Barrio Cambalache, Arecibo, at the former Global Fibers paper mill site, less than 1⁄2 mile from its point of interconnection with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). It would use solid waste as the raw material for the production of energy.
Total investment: $860 million of private capital.
Poised to create 7,000+ direct, indirect and induced jobs over 3+ years of construction; 750 direct, indirect and induced full-time jobs.
Estimated timeline: 42 months.
–NORESCO’s project aims to identify and implement improvements to reduce energy, water consumption and related utility costs in the Government Unit Buildings at the Bayamón and Ponce Correctional Institutional Complexes owned by the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, such that annual cost savings can be used towards facility improvements, including technology upgrades and performance enhancing services. This would allow for adding new security levels for the correctional officers and employees of the correctional facilities, extending the life of these facilities, and improving the general conditions within the facilities.
Total investment: $25,262,000 ($262,000 public funds and $25 million private
Estimated timeline: 24 months.
–The project submitted by ARG Precision Corp., PW Power Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Bostonia Partners, LLC, collectively “Team Peaker Puerto Rico”, aims to provide energy generation back-up and energy reserve goods and services to PREPA. Team Peaker Puerto Rico would add 540 MWs of strategically important power (dual fuel capability that can switch from natural gas to liquid fuel and vice versa) at seven PREPA electric generation installations to address fuel costs and daily load response issues for both emergency power and daily peak demand.
Total investment: $538 million in private funds.
Estimated timeline: 18 months.