The Mountain Hydroelectric Co-op received a notice from the Public-Private Partnerships Authority confirming that its Hidroenergía Renace consortium will be able to submit a Request of Proposal to manage and rehabilitate the hydroelectric plants in the Lagos Dos Bocas and Caonillas lakes.
On July 1, the Mountain Hydroelectric Co-op submitted the Declaration of Qualification to the P3 Authority, becoming the first citizen group to directly participate in the island’s energy transformation, the group said.
The Co-op intends to rehabilitate and manage the hydroelectric plants of the Dos Bocas and Caonillas lakes to provide electric service to the residents of Adjuntas, Jayuya and Utuado.
“The Mountain Hydroelectric Co-op takes a firm step, making history, from becoming Puerto Rico’s first electric Co-op, to marking the path toward changes in a participatory and community energy transformation,” said José Hernan Massol-Ortiz, the Co-op’s board chairman.
“The fact that we suffered long months of darkness and anguish after Hurricane María, confirmed that we, the residents of the mountain are not a priority for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority,” said Aida Santiago, treasurer of the Mountain Hydroelectric Co-op
“This means that after organizing, now the residents of Adjuntas, Jayuya and Utuado are achieving a fair representation in the process of energy transformation through a cooperative model,” Santiago said.
“The energy plurality offered by the Mountain Hydroelectric Co-op will guarantee cost-effective, clean and resilient energy for us, using a democratic model,” said Olga Cordero, a Co-op Board member.
“This drives the economic transformation of the center of the island, which needs it so much,” she said. “The next step is to initiate due diligence and, based on that, prepare a competitive proposal with the assistance of our partners.”
The partners include: Americas Energy Services; PowerSecure; Siemens; Southern Company and Voith, who are experts in the industry and suppliers of the advanced equipment necessary to rehabilitate the plants, the executives said.
The Hidroenergía Renace name is “a tribute to our heritage that is currently neglected and misused,” said Ametza Cardona, the Co-op’s vice president.
“The consortium wants to show that with dedication and work, these resources can be reborn and provide, to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who built those plants, cost-effective energy in the 21st century,” she said.