With power restored for just about half of the island’s residents, regulators look toward a remade grid.
The regulations, which are now open for 30 days of public comment, synthesized pages of responses received after a November 10 call for recommendations. Commission chair José Román Morales said it’s the most interest the not-yet four-year-old commission has received during a public rulemaking process.
The goal was to sketch a clearer outline for a tricky-to-define concept -- the term "microgrid" can refer to many types of generation islanded from the central grid -- as more developers eye installations on the recovering island.
“There’s not a standard definition of what a microgrid is, not even on the mainland,” said Román Morales.
According to the commission's regulation, “a microgrid shall consist, at a minimum, of generation assets, loads and distribution infrastructure. Microgrids shall include sufficient generation, storage assets and advanced distribution technologies to serve load under normal operating and usage conditions.”
All microgrids must be renewable (with at least 75 percent of power from clean energy), combined heat and power (CHP) or hybrid CHP-and-renewable systems.
The regulation applies to microgrids controlled and owned by individuals, customer cooperatives, nonprofit and for-profit companies, and cities, but not those owned by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Owners must submit a registration application for approval, including a certification of inspection from a licensed electric engineer, and an annual fuel, generation and sales report that details generation and fuel source, as well as any change in the number of customers served.
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