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P.R. OBoard opens comment period for $1.5B in ‘critical energy projects’

The proposed waste-to-energy plant’s location in Arecibo.

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico announced the start of the 30-day public comment period for four of the critical projects submitted through the Critical Projects Process (CPP) and under the consideration of the federally appointed entity’s Revitalization Coordinator.

Four projects to address energy issues are under consideration, representing a total investment estimated at $1.5 billion, the agency confirmed.

The four projects are: New Era Eolic LLC’s Parque Eólico del Norte; Energy Answers International Inc.’s Arecibo Resource Recovery Facility; NORELCO’s Energy Optimization at the Ponce and Bayamón Correctional Institutional Complexes and; ARG Precision Corp., PW Power Systems, Inc., and Bostonia Partners, LLC’s dual fuel energy generation backup and reserves for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA.)

The projects will be financed almost completely with private capital, and have the potential to generate more than 8,200 direct, indirect and induced jobs, the Board confirmed.

“Hurricanes Irma and María have demonstrated beyond any doubt Puerto Rico’s dire need to revamp and upgrade its electric energy infrastructure,” said Noel Zamot, Revitalization Coordinator for the OBoard.

“And we must do it quickly. That’s part of the reason why this first generation of projects to be advanced through PROMESA’s Title V Critical Projects Process all address energy issues. We will be considering other types of infrastructure projects also, but right now the Oversight Board’s focus is on projects that can deliver energy solutions quickly,” he added.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit their comments via the CPP website on or before Feb. 6, 2018 at 5 p.m. All comments will remain posted and available for public viewing during the 30-day period.

Following the public comment period, the Revitalization Coordinator will have 30 days to respond to those comments and make his responses public. He will then have five days to submit a final CPP report to the Oversight Board, which will include a recommendation from the Governor of Puerto Rico.

The Board will then have 30 days to issue a decision on project criticality by majority vote.  Justifications for the Board’s decision will be made public at the CPP website.

About the projects
Parque Eólico del Norte (North Wind Park)
, is a renewable, wind energy project with the capacity to generate 19.8 MW/hour, store energy via a grid-designed battery system and transfer energy to the nearby industrial sector. The project, submitted by New Era Eolic LLC., contemplates the installation of six wind turbines at Int. PR-686-687, Barrio Yeguada, Vega Baja.

The turbines would be surrounded by a public recreational park, community and wellness center, PR-veteran memorial, amphitheater and office space for various organizations, including the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources’ Administration of the Laguna de Tortugero Reserve, and the Cycling, Sailing and Rowing federations.

Poised to create 1,200 direct, indirect and induced jobs. Total investment: $47.5 million ($36 million in private capital and $11.5 million federal funds). Estimated timeline: 18 months.

The Arecibo Resource Recovery Facility (Arecibo RRF), a nominal gross 80 MW/net 70 MW Resource Recovery Facility, was submitted by Energy Answers International, Inc. through its local subsidiary Arecibo LLC. It is meant to generate baseload renewable energy and recover valuable materials from approximately 2,300 tons per day of municipal solid waste.

The project would be located in Barrio Cambalache, Arecibo, at the former Global Fibers paper mill site, less than half a mile from its point of interconnection with PREPA. It would use solid waste as the raw material for the production of energy. Total investment: $860 million in private capital. Poised to create more than 7,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over more than 3 years of construction; 750 direct, indirect and induced full-time jobs. Estimated timeline: 42 months.

NORESCO’s project aims to identify and implement improvements to reduce energy, water consumption and related utility costs in the Government Unit Buildings at the Bayamón and Ponce Correctional Institutional Complexes owned by the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, such that annual cost savings can be used towards facility improvements, including technology upgrades and performance enhancing services.

This would allow for adding new security levels for the correctional officers and employees of the correctional facilities, extending the life of these facilities, and improving the general conditions within the facilities. Total investment: $25.2 million ($262,000 public funds and $25 million private funds). Estimated timeline: 24 months.

The project submitted by ARG Precision Corp., PW Power Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Bostonia Partners, LLC, collectively “Team Peaker Puerto Rico,” aims to provide energy generation back-up and energy reserve goods and services to PREPA. Team Peaker Puerto Rico would add 540 MWs of strategically important power (dual fuel capability that can switch from natural gas to liquid fuel and vice versa) at seven PREPA electric generation installations to address fuel costs and daily load response issues for both emergency power and daily peak demand. Total investment: $538 million in private funds. Estimated timeline: 18 months.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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