Multi-Lab Energy Planning Support for Puerto Rico
NREL provides Puerto Rico stakeholders with tools, training, and modeling support to enable planning and operation of the electric power grid with more resilience against further disruptions.
Since Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September 2017, NREL has partnered on this effort with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other national laboratories:
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Sandia National Laboratories.
Current activities are funded through an interagency agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The DOE Office of Electricity and Solar Energy Technologies Office has funded past activities.
For Puerto Rico, we are working to deliver tool enhancements, hands-on support with energy system modeling and scenarios, short-term and day-ahead resource forecasts, and storm checklists for solar systems.
We are developing a Spanish version of the PVWatts Calculator.
System Advisor Model
We are updating the System Advisor Model (SAM) with mini-grid capabilities relevant to Puerto Rico systems. We have already developed Spanish versions of the following SAM resources:
We are providing support for use of the Engage™️ tool as a convening hub for collaborative, user-driven capacity expansion planning in Puerto Rico including energy system models, scenarios, and local capacity-building.
Solar Resource Data
We have developed solar resource data for Puerto Rico. Also, we are developing a capability to deliver 2 kilometer, 5-minute resolution solar resource data in near real-time and additional enhancements using next-generation satellite data. Intended use is for net-load forecasting dispatch in Puerto Rico and more generally, as well as day-ahead forecasts for specific periods as required by NREL researchers conducting modeling and analysis for Puerto Rico.
Pre- and Post-Storm Checklists for Solar Installations
We are building capacity to secure Puerto Rico's distributed and large-scale solar PV assets against natural hazards by developing pre- and post-storm checklists for solar installations for use by asset owners, operators, and other relevant stakeholders. Stakeholder input will be incorporated, and checklists will be shared broadly, including on this site.
We aim to deliver for Puerto Rico a modeling and simulation framework to analyze distributed energy resource (DER) regulation strategies, key considerations for microgrid technical requirements, field-implementation solutions and simulation results for hybrid plants, and potential scenarios for solar and storage adoption.
Voltage Regulation Strategies
We are Investigating voltage regulation strategies for DER with a focus on inverter-based DER technology types to illustrate functionality for determining performance categories and settings for voltage regulation modes. This will assist the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in the utilization of DER voltage and reactive power control capabilities supported by IEEE Std. 1547-2018.
Microgrid Technical Requirements
We are developing microgrid technical requirements consistent with IEEE Standard 1547-2018, including considerations for potential pilot demonstrations at multiple scales. This includes developing a modeling and simulation framework focused on inverter-based DER technology types and capabilities supported by the IEEE standard.
Hybrid Power Plants
We are conducting analysis to identify the potential of hybrid power plants—utility-scale wind or solar facilities co-located with battery storage—to improve the reliability and resilience of the power systems in Puerto Rico, as well as optimal sizes and locations for co-virtual hybrid plants.
Solar and Storage Adoption Scenarios
We are developing scenarios of solar and storage adoption in Puerto Rico using NREL's Distributed Generation Market Demand model and Puerto Rico Energy Efficiency Scenario Analysis Tool, a spreadsheet tool developed to analyze the potential for DER and demand response to provide resilience, flexibility, and consumer benefits.
Water Treatment Plant Resilience
We will conduct modeling and analysis on resilience of wastewater treatment plants to power outages to identify opportunities increase resilience and ensure safe water conditions.
We are supporting Puerto Rico through effective information dissemination to stakeholders in the form of workshops and other resources. We also are providing responsive capacity development in the form of on-demand technical assistance.
Key activities included:
- Delivering high-resolution solar resource data for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the National Solar Radiation Database
- Delivering models of Puerto Rico using grid modeling tools—Flexible Energy Scheduling Tool for Integrating Variable Generation and Multi-Area Frequency Response Integration Tool—and training models on real data
- Developing and executing an educational module that provides analytical support to stakeholders on best practices for interconnection of distributed energy resources and IEEE 1547 standard
- Delivering Puerto Rico-specific SAM improvements to provide foundational solar profiles for production cost modeling and to enable stakeholders to perform detailed cost-benefit analysis of renewable energy systems, accounting for resiliency and ancillary service functionality
- Developing accessible end-user, cost-benefit tools with training sessions aimed at ensuring robust, data-driven investment decisions across Puerto Rico
- Engaging with stakeholders to understand local energy planning needs and provide information about the multi-lab effort and results through workshops in San Juan and Mayaguez in March and a webinar series in the fall.
NREL provided to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority with “…recommendations for a new framework of interconnection standards to accelerate the integration of utility-scale, transmission-connected renewable electrical generation and energy storage that ensure cross-technology compatibility and enable high deployment levels without compromising grid reliably, safety, or security.” (Sources: Considerations for Distributed Energy Resource Integration in Puerto Rico and Interconnection Requirements for Renewable Generation and Energy Storage in Island Systems: Puerto Rico Example)
Past Webinar Series
These webinars were presented in 2019.
These resources are directly related to the ongoing activities and efforts to provide energy system planning support to Puerto Rico following the 2017 hurricane season.
See all NREL publications related to Puerto Rico in the NREL Publications Database.
Workshop on Energy Planning Resources for Puerto Rico, NREL Presentation (2019)
Solar Resource and Technical Potential Modeling, NREL Presentation (2019)
Puerto Rico: Emerging Opportunities for Energy Efficiency and Equitable Clean Energy Development, 21st ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (2020) To view this paper, select ‘Table of Contents’, then “Panel 9’, then select the PDF icon under the paper title.
Interconnection Requirements for Renewable Generation and Energy Storage: Puerto Rico Example: Preprint, NREL Conference Paper (2019)
Quantifying the Solar Energy Resource for Puerto Rico, NREL Technical Report (2021)
Considerations for Distributed Energy Resource Integration in Puerto Rico, NREL Technical Report (2021)
Puerto Rico Energy Planning Resources Workshop Report, NREL Technical Report (2019)
These tools may be of particular benefit to those engaged in energy system planning for Puerto Rico. For a comprehensive list, see NREL's Data and Tools.
These tools are publicly available and don't require technical modeling skills.
Building Energy Optimization Tool– Used to evaluate residential building designs and identify cost-optimal efficiency packages at various levels of whole-house energy savings along the path to zero net energy.
Community Solar Scenario Tool– Provides a “first cut” analysis of different community or shared solar program options.
Engage™ – Modeling tool that makes cross-sectoral energy system planning and simulation easier and more accessible.
Jobs and Economic Development Impact Models – User-friendly tools that estimate economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation and biofuel plants at local and state levels.
National Solar Radiation Database– A collection of meteorological and solar irradiance data sets for the U.S. and a growing list of international locations.
Puerto Rico Energy Efficiency Scenario Analysis Tool – An energy efficiency scenario analysis spreadsheet tool.
PVWatts Calculator – A calculator that estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic energy systems throughout the world.
REopt Lite – A decision-support tool used to optimize energy systems for buildings, campuses, communities, and microgrids.
ResStock – Performs large-scale residential energy analysis by combining public and private data sources, statistical sampling, detailed sub-hourly building simulations, and high-performance computing to help users identify which home improvements save the most energy and money.
System Advisor Model– A free computer program that calculates a renewable energy system's hourly energy output over a single year, and the cost of energy for a renewable energy project over the life of the project.
These tools require some technical modeling skills or are used by NREL researchers to conduct modeling and analysis with and for external partners:
Flexible Energy Scheduling Tool for Integrating Variable Generation – A multiple-timescale, interconnected simulation tool that includes security-constrained unit commitment, security-constrained economic dispatch, and automatic generation control sub-models.
Multi-Area Frequency Response Integration Tool – Simulates the power system dynamic response in full time spectrum with variable time steps from millisecond to days under both normal and event conditions.
Other Related Resources
The following resources are relevant to Puerto Rico energy system planning but were not directly related to the interagency-funded projects following the 2017 hurricane season.
Puerto Rico Energy Snapshot, DOE Fact Sheet (2020)
Puerto Rico Low-to-Moderate Income Rooftop PV and Solar Savings Potential, NREL Presentation (2020)
Renewable Electricity Technologies to Increase the Resilience of the Food Supply System in Puerto Rico, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2020)
Energy Resilience Assessment for Culebra, Puerto Rico, NREL Strategic Partnership Project Report (2019)
Puerto Rico Electricity Grid Recovery: Better Information and Enhanced Coordination Is Needed to Address Challenges, U.S. Government Accountability Office (2019)
Energy Resilience Solutions for the Puerto Rico Grid, DOE Final Report (2018)
Hurricanes Irma And Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands Recovery Advisory 5: Rooftop Solar Panel Attachment: Design, Installation, and Maintenance, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (2018)
Solar Photovoltaic Systems in Hurricanes and Other Severe Weather, DOE Fact Sheet (2018)
Analysis of Microgrid Locations Benefitting Community Resilience for Puerto Rico, Sandia National Laboratories Report (2018)
Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (2018)
Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The following resources were not funded by and are not affiliated with DOE or its national laboratories but are relevant to Puerto Rico energy system planning, recovery, and resilience.
We Want Sun and We Want More: 75% Distributed Renewable Generation in 15 Years in Puerto Rico Is Achievable and Affordable, CAMBIO and Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (2021)
10-Year Infrastructure Plan, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (2020)
Final Resolution and Order on the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s Integrated Resource Plan, Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (2020)
Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation: An Economic and Disaster Recovery Plan for Puerto Rico, Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resiliency (2018)
Public Collaborative for Puerto Rico's Energy Future, Institute for a Competitive and Sustainable Economy and Rocky Mountain Institute (2018)
Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group (2017)
Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator, The Solar Foundation
For more information on our efforts in Puerto Rico, contact email@example.com.