Puerto Rico Issues Energy Storage Mandate

Developers of renewable energy projects in Puerto Rico must incorporate energy storage into new installations under recently approved standards.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the island territory’s government-owned utility, Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE) on Dec. 12 released a new minimum technical requirementthat requires new grid-connected solar and wind power projects to add 30% of the installation’s rated capacity in storage to aid frequency control. The requirement also requires developers to keep 45% of the project’s capacity in reserve for at least one minute for ramping control to compensate for fluctuations in generated power from variable resources. 

This year, the government of Puerto Rico will meanwhile seek to procure 600 MW of renewable energy capacity to increase renewables’ share in the national energy mix from 1% to 6%. AEE, which has a national monopoly on generation, transmission, and distribution—and serves as a regulator—last October, said it would begin renegotiating power purchase agreements with project developers. 

California, in October, adopted the first U.S. energy storage mandate, requiring its three major independently owned power companies to procure electricity storage capacity that can output 1,325 MW by the end of 2020, including 200 MW by the end of this year. 

Haresh Kamath, a program manager for the Electric Power Research Institute, which provided the California Public Utilities Commission with data on which the mandate was based, told IEEE Spectrum that the regulatory body purposely set the mandate in megawatts, not megawatt-hours to give utilities maximum flexibility in how they implemented storage systems.

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)

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