In-Brief

Solar energy trade group rejects PREPA deal with creditors

The Solar and Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico warned of the “serious consequences” the proposal by Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority creditors that seeks to impose a charge on people installing solar energy systems at their homes or businesses.

The group known as SESA said the charge included in the Restructuring Support Agreement between PREPA and bondholders will represent a blow to solar energy consumers’ pockets and the development of the industry on the island.

The RSA was presented to Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who is overseeing PREPA’s bankruptcy case, in May 2019 for approval.

That said, the SESA confirmed it will file an “Amicus Curiae” proceeding in court to warn of the adverse impact the imposition of a charge will have, said PJ Wilson, president of SESA, an organization that represents solar and storage businesses of all sizes in Puerto Rico.

“It is understandable that the bondholders want to recover what they believe they’re owed. What’s incomprehensible is that the path they chose is one that fundamentally makes that impossible, by eroding the same economic base of subscribers and consumers who contribute to the network,” Wilson said.

“We believe the government has a great opportunity to reject the charges on solar consumers proposed in the RSA, so the federal court rejects them,” he said. “This position would be consistent with recent statements by the government against any increases in electricity bills.”

The monthly solar energy production charge would be imposed on consumers who install solar energy systems starting October 2020.

“Puerto Rico needs more solar energy and batteries to help build its resilience and promote economic development,” said Javier Rúa-Jovet, director of public policy at Sunrun. “It’s time to implement our innovative bipartisan legislation to achieve 100% renewable energy in Puerto Rico. We reject any attempt to hinder our efforts with unnecessary and discriminatory solar taxes.”

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

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