Sunday, December 8, 2019

Puerto Rico publishes proposed wheeling regulations for public comment

By on March 4, 2019

SAN JUAN – In a public notice Monday, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) said it is seeking public comment on its proposed wheeling regulations.

Wheeling is generally defined as the transmission of electric power from one electrical grid, or service area, affording an energy consumer to select their own energy supplier, or “wheel in” energy.

The energy bureau said it was making the text of the proposed regulation available for public scrutiny as part of the Puerto Rico Energy Transformation and RELIEF Act of 2014, as amended, and the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act of the Government of Puerto Rico of 2017.

It said that “through the implementation of a wheeling mechanism, benefits such as a potential reduction on energy costs, the maximization of energy efficiency, as well as fostering the investment in renewable resources at competitive costs may be achieved” by wheeling participants.

“Wheeling is a key element in the process of transforming Puerto Rico’s power system into one that is modern, efficient, resilient, and environmentally-friendly. The purpose of this Regulation is to facilitate the introduction of competitive pressures into the generation sector, ensure that competitive generators have open and non-discriminatory access to the transmission and distribution infrastructure, and enhance transparency of prices,” PREB said.

The regulator will hold a public hearing April 15 at 10 a.m., at its hearing room in World Plaza Building in Hato Rey.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (Prepa) has been unsuccessful in drafting regulations on wheeling for years. In 2010, the utility rejected proposed wheeling regulations by its consultants, contending wheeling would increase utility operational costs and interfere with the system’s reliability.

In August, the regulator issued a resolution and order requesting the public to submit comments as a first step in the development of the regulation that will govern the wheeling mechanism in Puerto Rico.

Besides working on Prepa’s new rate case and recently submitted integrated resource plan, PREB is expected to complete the wheeling and microgrid regulations this year.

Comments on the regulation may be submitted in writing during March. These can be filed at the Energy Bureau here: https://radicacion.energia.pr.gov/.

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