Puerto Rico’s Energy Transition

Puerto Rico has committed to meeting its electricity needs with 100% renewable energy by 2050, along with realizing interim goals of 40% by 2025, 60% by 2040, the phaseout of coal-fired generation by 2028, and a 30% improvement in energy efficiency by 2040 as established in Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act (Act 17). To meet these goals and support widespread end-use electrification, Puerto Rico is exploring renewable energy and other generation technologies for energy storage, distributed generation, distribution control, electric vehicles, and energy efficient and responsive loads that can be deployed in each of Puerto Rico’s cities and communities.

The PR100 Study

The Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transitions to 100% Renewable Energy Study (PR100) is a 2-year study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Grid Deployment Office and six national laboratories to comprehensively analyze stakeholder-driven pathways to Puerto Rico’s clean energy future. Launched on February 2, 2022, PR100 entails five activities, with an emphasis on modeling and analyzing scenarios that meet Puerto Rico’s renewable energy targets and achieve short-term recovery goals and long-term energy resilience. 

PR100 is funded primarily through an interagency agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the study is part of a larger portfolio of support for Puerto Rico energy planning, as articulated in a memorandum of understanding between DOE, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A final written report and web-based visuals will be published in late 2023. All publications and public events associated with the study will be available in Spanish and English.

A breakdown of the five steps of the PR100 process.

Contributors

  • Federal Agencies: The project is led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office and funded through an interagency agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • National Laboratories: World-class analysis performed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (lead lab) with Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.
  • Steering Committee: Federal recovery funders and local public implementers (e.g., the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, LUMA Energy, Puerto Rico Energy Bureau [PREB], and the Puerto Rico Department of Housing) help guide DOE’s portfolio of technical assistance projects.
  • Advisory Group: A panel of stakeholders convenes regularly to provide relevant external perspectives to the national laboratories. Sectors represented include academia, community-based organizations, private solar and storage developers, the business community, and municipalities.

Deliverables 

  • Six-Month Progress Report (July 2022): The report provides a six-month progress update on the study, including presentation of four initial scenario defined with extensive stakeholder input.  
  • One-Year Progress Summary (January 2023): The report summarizes activities conducted in the first year of the study, including initial results of initial modeling and analysis of the feasibility, impacts, and tradeoffs of each scenario.  
  • High-Resolution Solar and Wind Data Sets (January 2023): One of the most important questions for reaching 100% renewable energy is whether Puerto Rico’s renewable resource potential is sufficient—is there enough sun, wind, hydro, and other sources of renewable energy? To answer this question we conducted assessments of the technical potential of a variety of renewable energy resources in Puerto Rico, and we generated high-resolution, multiyear resource data sets for land-based wind, offshore wind, and solar. The solar data are publicly available at https://nsrdb.nrel.gov, and the wind data are publicly available at https://www.nrel.gov/grid/wind-toolkit.html

Visit the DOE Puerto Rico Energy Recovery and Modernization webpage for more information on the department’s activities supporting Puerto Rico. NREL’s ongoing and past activities to support energy planning in Puerto Rico, including publications, tools, and other resources, is available on the lab’s Multi-Lab Energy Planning Support for Puerto Rico webpage.

Webinars

Launch of PR100: Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transition to 100% Renewable Energy

PR100 1-YEAR PROGRESS UPDATE