Proposing a Renewable Path Forward for Puerto Rico

Statement from Daniel Whittle, Senior Director, Caribbean Initiatives, Environmental Defense Fund

March 6, 2020
Debora Schneider, (212) 616-1377,

(SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today filed comments on the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), advocating to reject the IRP in favor of a modified plan that reduces Puerto Rico’s reliance on centralized fossil fuel plants, and that optimizes readily available energy resources to build resilience and to ultimately source 100% of the island’s power from renewables by 2050.

Among EDF’s recommendations for PREPA to improve the plan are to pursue renewables as early as possible, while eliminating plans to build expensive, unnecessary new gas plants and implementing decentralized, cost-effective solutions that are more responsive to customers’ electricity needs. The organization also called for the utility to empower customers to help drive the island’s energy transition and to facilitate demand-side solutions including energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation. – such as microgrids and virtual power plants – to providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to Puerto Rico’s communities.

“Transforming Puerto Rico’s electric system can help protect the island from future storms and major disruptions, improve people’s lives and strengthen its economy — but it has to be done right. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau must forge ahead with an Integrated Resource Plan that recognizes and leverages the value of cleaner and decentralized power to provide all of the island’s communities with the energy access they deserve.”

Daniel Whittle, Senior Director, Caribbean Initiatives

Environmental Defense Fund is developing an innovative project to demonstrate the feasibility of distributed energy resources, including microgrids that can reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuels. These mini-energy service stations can maximize locally-generated renewable energy, such as solar power, and can run backed by battery storage and intelligent software. Linked to the larger grid — ensuring the delivery of affordable, clean and reliable energy everyday — these systems will be designed to also separate from the grid during emergencies, like Hurricane Maria, to keep the lights on in the parts of the island that need it most. For more information, visit

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