February 2, 2022

HUD: Joint Effort Launched with Puerto Rico to Modernize Energy Grid

2022 Actions Include Taking Ongoing Projects to Construction Phase, Investments in Grid Reliability, a Roadmap for 100% Clean, Affordable and Reliable Power Across Puerto Rico

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today joined the Departments of Energy (DOE) and Homeland Security (DHS) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to launch a new effort to accelerate work to strengthen the island’s grid resilience and advance new initiatives to enhance Puerto Rico’s energy future. The parties executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that enhances collaboration among Federal agencies and the Commonwealth, and kickstarts the PR100 Study. The PR100 Study is a community-driven and locally tailored roadmap to help the island meet its target of 100% renewable electricity, improve power sector resiliency and increase access to more affordable energy and cleaner air. Dozens of grid modernization projects will start construction this year, and Puerto Rico’s utility will sign contracts for at least 2GW of renewable energy and 1GW of energy storage projects. The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to helping states and territories reach their clean power targets to move the nation closer to achieving President Biden’s 2050 goal of a net-zero carbon economy.

“Since day one of the Biden-Harris Administration, HUD has prioritized the recovery and resilience needs of Puerto Rico and we are pleased to join in this collaboration with our federal partners at DOE, DHS, and FEMA and with the government of Puerto Rico,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Together, we will improve the reliability and resilience of Puerto Rico’s electrical system and help the island meet its renewable energy targets in a way that couples shorter-term recovery goals with forward-looking mitigation against natural disasters and the already evident impacts of a changing climate. As this MOU makes clear, the risks of climate change and the unprecedented federal investments provide an opportunity to improve the lives of individuals and communities across the nation through increased resilience and equity.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration is helping Puerto Rico strengthen the island’s resilience, and in the process unlock its potential for cheap and abundant renewable energy,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s commitments and the launch of the PR100 Study show that 2022 will be a year of action to modernize Puerto Rico’s grid and increase energy resilience as we accelerate your work with Puerto Rico to execute data-driven, community-tailored pathways towards 100% clean electricity. DOE is proud to partner with Governor Pierluisi to help deliver a more reliable grid, good-paying jobs, lower utility bills, and healthier air to the more than 3 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico.”

“As Puerto Rico continues to rebuild and recover, we will work with our interagency partners to help create a more sustainable future and ensure communities have access to affordable energy and cleaner air,” said Homeland Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “This administration is making unprecedented investments in communities to help them adapt and become more resilient, and we will continue to provide the necessary resources to achieve these goals.”

“One of my top priorities as Governor of Puerto Rico since I took office has been to ensure that Puerto Rico’s energy transformation moves forward at a steady and reliable pace. I will make sure that every federal fund appropriated to Puerto Rico and allocated for the reconstruction of the power grid is used efficiently and effectively,” said Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi. I thank the Biden Administration for partnering with us to help us achieve our main goal: transforming our energy system into a more resilient, reliable, affordable and clean one. Thank you, Secretaries Granholm, Fudge, Mayorkas and Administrator Criswell for entering this Memorandum of Understanding with my Administration. Your assistance will help ensure we keep moving forward in the transformation of the Island’s electrical system.”

From emergency restoration to planning for the long-term recovery of Puerto Rico’s energy sector, HUD, DOE, and DHS through FEMA, have been providing hands-on technical assistance to help Puerto Rico plan and prepare to execute over $12 billion in Federal recovery and grid modernization funds, efforts that are delivering concrete change in 2022:

As dozens of new energy recovery projects move rapidly towards construction, DOE is leveraging the world-class expertise and advanced modeling capabilities of its National Labs with the launch of the Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transition to 100% Renewable Energy (PR100) Study, designed to ensure that funded energy recovery actions align with Puerto Rico energy policy and resilience needs, are coordinated across sectors, and align with industry best practices. Led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the study will connect local decisionmakers and communities with tools, training, and analytical support to enable planning and operation of the Commonwealth’s power grid with greater resilience against disruption as it moves toward its 100% renewable energy goal.

Specifically, the PR100 Study will:

The PR100 Study is funded by FEMA through an interagency agreement with DOE’s Office of Electricity to support recovery efforts in the island’s energy sector leveraging the expertise and capabilities of the National Laboratories including Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, NREL, Oak Ridge, PNNL, and Sandia. The PR100 Study is modeled after the Los Angeles “100% Renewable Energy Study” (LA100), which evaluated a wide range of future scenarios to help Los Angeles understand options for and implications of meeting its renewable energy goals. Study results showed that meeting Los Angeles’ goal of reliable, 100% renewable electricity by 2045-or even 2035-is achievable, and will provide benefits related to air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and public health if coupled with electrification of other sectors.

“Working in collaboration with a local advisory stakeholder group and led by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab , the Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100) was an unprecedented, independent effort that confirmed LA can reliably achieve a 100% carbon-free grid,” said Reiko Kerr, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Senior Assistant General Manager of Power System Engineering and Technical Services. We are very proud that our partnership with DOE has helped create a model that other communities can replicate for their path to a 100% renewable and decarbonized energy future.”

DOE will hold a public informational webinar on February 16 at 12:00 pm A.T. to offer additional details. Visit this event page to learn more and register for the event.

This post was originally published here.