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Build Back Better for Puerto Rico: Options for the power grid

Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico with the single largest and longest power outage in U.S. history, leaving residents without access to critical resources such as clean water, healthcare, law enforcement and emergency systems. In response, Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York combined efforts for a grid restoration plan to build back a better, reliable, and more resilient power grid. The governors formed the Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group who developed a detailed report for grid rebuild while envisioning a transformed electric power system built with increased distributed energy resources (DERs), modern grid technologies, while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. “Building Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico” covers everything from damage assessments to recommendations for DER while developing both short and long-term plans.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance helped form the building back better vision by combining DER expertise with on-island coordination to provide Puerto Rico with the recommendations they need for deploying DERs for cost savings and resiliency. Based on data collections and conversations with government authorities and utility-volunteers on-island, SEPA developed a hypothetical deployment strategy and economic modeling of microgrids for specific critical facilities and remote communities.

Hypothetical Islanding of Critical Facilities (Source: Smart Electric Power Alliance)