Spotlight on Policy: Puerto Rico

Trish Morattoby Trish Moratto (guest post), , 0 Comments
Puerto Rico Renewable Energy

The June issue of PES Magazine features an article written by Jena Ramsey, SMA’s Territory Sales Manager for the Southeast. Since Jena started at SMA, she’s spent a lot of time on the island and worked with customers to better understand how programs and policies impact their business. Our blog post, “Spotlight on Policy: Puerto Rico,” highlights this article, focusing on the significant legislative and policy changes shaping Puerto Rico’s renewable energy future.

Transformative Journey Toward 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

As we watch the transformative journey of Puerto Rico towards renewable energy, there is a lot going on from a legislative perspective. Team SMA put together a video synopsis of the article highlighting key points.

Spotlight on Policy in Puerto Rico

Legislative Support for Energy Resilience and Efficiency

Puerto Rico has set extremely ambitious energy goals. The Puerto Rican government wants to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.  To make that possible they have set interim goals of achieving 40% by 2025, 60% by 2040, the phaseout of coal-fired generation by 2028, and a 30% improvement in energy efficiency by 2040.   

Challenges and Opportunities in Puerto Rico’s Energy Landscape

Puerto Rico has faced significant energy challenges, made worse by factors such as an aging infrastructure, dependence on imported fossil fuels, and the hurricanes. These issues really underscore the urgent need to diversify the energy mix and strengthen the island’s resilience.  

Federal Investments Boost Puerto Rico’s Solar and Storage Projects

President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act into law, which includes $1 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy to establish the Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund. The point of the legislation to improve the resilience of the Puerto Rican electric grid, and to a focus on the island’s most vulnerable households 

DOE Initiatives and Funding for Solar PV and Battery Storage

Last July, the DOE released $450 million to support residential solar PV and battery storage installations and offer consumer protection and education resources.  A few months later in November they selected three companies, five nonprofits and two local organizations for funding. The DOE anticipates that the first installations due to this money will begin this Spring.  

Subsequent rounds are expected later in 2024, which will provide investments for energy resilience solutions like community solar, microgrids, and other grid modernization solutions, as well as potential partnerships with local groups and workforce training.   

Community Empowerment Through the Solar Ambassador Program

The Solar Ambassador program is a sub program of the Solar Access Program. The aim is to empower local communities towards energy independence. Through the Solar Access program, the government announced nearly 4 million in Solar Ambassador prizes for community organizations across Puerto Rico.  

This action helps accelerate the installation of residential solar and battery storage systems on up to 30,000 homes across Puerto Rico.  Each organization will receive seed funding, participate in DOE training sessions, and are eligible for further compensation.    

Puerto Rico as a Model for Renewable Energy in the Mainland

There’s an exciting opportunity for Puerto Rico to act as a blueprint for the mainland to model achieving their 100% renewable energy goals. In support of the Puerto Rico energy transition, the federal government has allocated significant funding to contribute to state and local efforts.   

Secretary of Energy’s Commitment to Puerto Rico’s Energy Goals

The federal government’s commitment to the island is evident. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm has made multiple visits to the island. This shows the deep commitment of this administration to their lofty goals.   

Key Takeaways from Jena Ramsey’s Article in PES Magazine

Be sure to read Jena’s article in the June issue of PES Magazine to learn more.    




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