White Paper outlines design for mini-grids to energise Puerto Rico


Siemens has released its white paper, “Resilient by Design: Enhanced Reliability and Resiliency for Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid,” which outlines a new energy infrastructure framework in the wake of last year’s Hurricane Maria.

The storm devastated the island, leaving 1.2 million households or 75% of those on the island without power for more than a month.

The island is currently redesigning its power infrastructure with the vision of providing a more resilient, cleaner system that will provide reliable power to residents and businesses.

The white paper outlines an innovative approach to a distributed energy system (DES). A series of 10 mini-grids throughout the island will incorporate and enhance existing energy infrastructure. The mini-grid solution incorporates energy storage, renewables and existing conventional infrastructure that will operate both connected to the grid, as well as in island-mode in case of natural disasters.

“The proposed mini-grids leverage existing infrastructure and act as “islands”-within-the-island, to improve resilience during natural disasters, or can be interconnected to sustain the full Puerto Rico island community during normal operations. One mini-grid could encompass the entire San Juan region, for example,” stated Alan Bloodgood, senior vice president of energy and infrastructure of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.

“This approach is tailored to meet Puerto Rico’s specific needs and would optimise a wide array of resilient energy infrastructure options by lessening reliance on one central power source, shorten the duration of any outages and minimise emergency power restoration costs brought about by natural disasters.”

Following Hurricane Sandy, Siemens developed mobile resilience transformers in collaboration with ConEdison to provide maximum grid resiliency. In Chicago, Siemens works with Commonwealth Edison where it will manage its Bronzeville micro-grid. The solution will enable the Chicago Police Department to maintain operations during any emergency situations that impacts power-grid operations.