The Association of Renewable Energy Producers (APER) defended the renegotiations for the purchase and operation agreements of renewable energy (PPOA, acronym in English) of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and highlighted that a new delay by of the Fiscal Control Board in the approval of the contracts sends a “disastrous message that further deteriorates the image and the business environment of the Island.”
Similarly, it indicated that “it delays compliance with the energy law of Puerto Rico, in addition to delaying the transformation that is so much sought. ”
According to the executive director of the APER, Julián Herencia,“ the determination of the Board is accompanied by a defective and flawed prima fascia analysis because it limits the analysis to a fraction of the useful life of the projects instead of considering their total duration. These determinations are extremely disappointing at the same time that the Board knew the parameters of the renegotiation of the contracts and even participated in several meetings where they issued opinions that influenced the process. "
" This new delay projects, once again , the image that Puerto Rico is not complying with its contractual obligations. The opinion issued by the Board of Directors regarding the renegotiation of these contracts ignores the current law "Public Energy Policy Law of PR" approved in 2019.
These contracts are supposed to be part of the first steps in the transformation. Their position adversely affects the continuity of the restructuring process, "the executive director stated.
APER's reaction arises from a letter sent to PREPA by the JSF executive director, Natalie Jaresko, in which it is alleged that the 16 renegotiated contracts are not consistent with PREPA's fiscal plan in terms of the total reduction of retail energy prices.
This, while the Board did not consider all the necessary parameters to do this type evaluation.
“APER is surprised that even after years of delays and private investment in these projects, a convergence of purpose and will is finally achieved between the owners, PREPA, the Governing Board, and the NEPR, to achieve the goals established by public policy. After meetings and several communications, it was understood that the Board was part of this movement. But at a time when investment, diversification of energy sources, cost stability, and execution are needed, the Board establishes new critical changes that stop and completely destroy the progress of the process. Worse still, the required changes are not accompanied by a rigorous analysis that allows us to understand and consider the reason for these requirements ", said the spokesperson.
He recalled that" among their multiple benefits, the projects, for the most part, have been developed by Puerto Ricans, for Puerto Rico. Consider using local talent for its development and construction. They require a construction schedule that allows maximizing local resources, ensuring economic development and creating jobs here. The Board's determinations appear to exclude our companies and talents from participating in the energy market and from its potential development so that they can become participants in the industry outside of Puerto Rico. ”
APER also denounced changes in position on the part of the Board on parameters that had already been discussed.
“The Board had expressed its support for projects that had rates below 10 cents. It had also indicated that PREPA should allow other projects beyond the 16 to have a fair opportunity to negotiate before scrapping them; however, they now state that there should be a limit of 150Mw. What are the reasons for these dramatic changes in position? ", The executive director questioned.
Herencia maintained that" the construction of these renewable facilities does not prevent future developments; on the contrary, it supports them. The cost of doing nothing can be serious and time is ticking. We require the support of the Board for the benefit of the people of Puerto Rico, not to their detriment. "
He believed that" postponing investment in technological solutions, APER explained that it does not make sense because it would eliminate current benefits, thinking about possible negligible savings and efficiencies in the future. "If this action were a reasonable trend, nobody would buy a smartphone or a computer," he added. “You have to mobilize innovation. Plans only have value when execution accompanies them. How long are we going to keep waiting to act? ”.