Puerto Rico needs microgrids and private buy-in for reliable energy

By District Energy posted 10-04-2017 00:00


Scott Sklar, The Hill


Since one of the most devastating hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, power has been out on the island and may not be back online for months. Additionally, cell phone service is virtually not existent.

For this island of 3.7 million U.S. citizens, while they cope to get electricity from diesel generators and build a delivery system — decisions will have to be made on how to rebuild the Island’s electric grid and how it powers a rehabilitated water and sewer system.

The usual approach is to rebuild the same system, just a newer version. But an opportunity exists to develop a system that will not only be less expensive but attract private capital so that it is “pay as you generate.” The 3,620 square mile island (midway in size between Connecticut and Rhode Island) with a population the size of Kentucky or Arizona provides opportunities to leap frog approaches that are already in the market place, albeit disaggregated across the United States today.

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