Puerto Rico considers rebuilding on a decentralized energy model

Puerto Rico‘s government is considering rebuilding its energy infrastructure on a decentralized model after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

Economic Development and Commerce secretary Manuel Laboy told the Bloomberg news service this week that microgrids and regional grids running on solar PV and battery energy storage could be in the works.

Officials in the government have reportedly spoken with US auto and energy storage firm Tesla about ideas for a revamped energy infrastructure based on microgrids and the company’s Powerpack battery units.à‚ 

“The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” said CEO Elon Musk earlier this month.à‚ 

Tesla shipped a number of its residential battery storage systems to Puerto Rico after the hurricane, and last week began shipping larger systems. In addition, Musk tweeted this week that the firm has set up a solar+storage solution at a children’s hospital in San Juan, and is working on “many” more such projects.

Laboy was quoted as saying that the government is also considering its options with other solar and storage companies including Germany‘s Sonnen, California’s Arensis and Texas-based Sunnova. He added that it is “highly probable” that the government will tender for projects.

The goal of a decentralized energy system would be greater resilience to future natural disasters.à‚ 

For now, 85 per cent of the island is still without power.à‚ 

No posts to display