Gov’t picks IBD Energy to develop $20M Roosey Roads renewable energy network
Looking to accelerate economic development on the grounds of the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Ceiba, and launch new projects and strengthen the electrical infrastructure, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) announced it has chosen IBD Energy to develop and run a multi-user renewable energy microgrid for the area.
Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy said the network is “the first of its kind in the region.”
The initial investment of the project is estimated at $20 million and will create 65 jobs, in its first phase. According to the microgrid management agreement and subject to local and federal approval, the microgrid could begin operations in a year, Laboy added.
The announcement comes two years after the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority, attached to the DDEC, began the process of requesting proposals for energy generation and distribution.
The 20-year contract grants IBD Energy the rights to develop and operate a smart renewable energy microgrid using the distribution lines and electrical infrastructure owned by the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority and for the development of electricity generation projects for sale to users at competitive costs below Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority rates, he said.
Once operational, the project will provide resilient and renewable energy to all current and future users and lessors of the former naval base.
“The development and operations of the microgrid will renew interest and attract investment to Roosevelt Roads, one of Puerto Rico’s largest assets,” Laboy said.
Ernest Jacob, CEO of IBD Energy LLC, project manager since May 2018, said, “the development of the Roosevelt Roads microgrid will be considered one of the most sophisticated in the region. It will incorporate the management of energy services for multiple users and tenants, smart pricing systems and a combination of distributed energy sources that will include solar, energy storage, charging capacity for electric vehicles, among others.”
Meanwhile, Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Ian Carlo-Serna, said this critical infrastructure investment brings added value to major projects in the area, such as the construction of the tourist destination The Loop, the Link Activ call center, the Maritime Transportation Authority terminal, an assisted housing development and the industrial park, among others that will contribute to the economy of island’s eastern flank.
“We currently have 15 projects under development for a total of $450 million in investment with the commitment to create 3,650 jobs,” said Carlo-Serna.