Julia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive
When considering the future energy mix of Puerto Rico, worsening hurricane seasons and high levels of poverty in the territory are top of mind for energy experts.
Distributed generation is critical to boosting energy resilience on the island, participants noted yesterday at the Black Start 2019 conference in Puerto Rico, reflecting on lessons learned from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Energy, policy and regulatory experts discussed a transition to cleaner, distributed generation as a cost-effective solution to harden the U.S. territory's grid. Besides the high price tag of shipping fossil fuels to generate electricity, the island's centralized system remains vulnerable to extreme weather events.
The San Juan-based conference came amid anticipation of a bipartisan bill that would mandate 100% renewable energy in Puerto Rico by 2050. The bill, PS 1121, has already passed the Puerto Rico House and Senate and a final version needs to be approved by the House in conference committee before being sent to the governor's desk.