DOE identifies possible microgrid opportunities in Puerto Rico
In a blog post last week, DOE’s Walker said he has spent more than two weeks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assess recovery efforts, and “while there I saw successes, challenges, and opportunities.”
While Puerto Rico has received more media coverage following the September storm, the U.S. Virgin Islands were also devastated by the hurricane.
Walker said he was on the islands “coordinating and working on recovery efforts” with the government of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, industry and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Deploying line crews and equipment to Puerto Rico and the [U.S. Virgin Islands] is more complicated than doing so on the mainland,” he wrote. In Puerto Rico, 18 electrical substations were flooded and three were unable to be restored due to severe damage.
Among recovery efforts, he said PREPA made “two important decisions on power restoration,” including to reestablish a 230 KW line tying the generation on the southern part of the island with demand on the north side. The second decision was to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to install two generators with a total of 50 MW at the Palo Seco generation plant.
DOE also has identified 200 locations for potential microgrids on Puerto Rico, including water treatment plants and hospitals, which could add 11 MW of capacity. Another 400 sites are being investigated.