Puerto Rico enacts law privatising energy generation


Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares has signed the bill to carry out the transformation of the Electric Power Authority (AEE) that seeks to benefit the consumer and make the Island more competitive.

The law, which defines the legal framework of the energy reform, allows opening the call to receive bids from interested companies and proceed with their technical, economic and financial evaluation.

“Today, we enact an energy reform that has no parallels in our history, with this transformation of the ESA, the consumer will have the option to choose, since this law allows competition and promotes the new companies offer a more economic, efficient and friendly service to the environment, “said the first executive.

The transformation of the ESA will be carried out through a public-private partnership model (PPP), in a transparent and public manner, and will have the direct participation of the Legislative Assembly and the Energy Commission.

Rosselló Nevares explained that with the signing of this measure “we are talking about the privatisation of power generation and a concession, with a defined term, of the distribution and transmission of energy.” For Puerto Rico to be competitive, with this law we comply with three of the four factors that limited us “.

“Permit reform and the flexibilisation of the labor framework is now a reality, and the fourth area is the new tax model that we are presenting before the Legislative Assembly to address the four components that all studies point to as our impediment to achieving economic growth,” he added.

Also, the governor pointed out that the jobs of PREPA workers are guaranteed by law, since those who do not decide to leave with private operators will be relocated to other areas of the Government.

“The employees that have stayed at PREPA have made a great effort to serve Puerto Rico, they are not the problem and they will be part of the transformation,” Rosselló Nevares clarified.

Currently Puerto Rico has a generation system 28 years older than the average in the electric power industry in the United States and the AEE has no resources nor can take loans to modernise.

The regulatory framework of the transactions of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the public energy policy for these transactions will be developed by a working group that will make recommendations to the governor.

Later, the terms of awarding and hiring the companies selected in accordance with this law will be negotiated and will meet the requirements to transform and modernise the energy system.

Likewise, it was informed that part of the income generated by the transformation of the PREPA will be used to capitalise the retirement funds of the employees, as detailed in the Plan for Puerto Rico.

“PREPA’s retirement plan is bankrupt and we must prevent the injured parties from being retired and the current employees of the Authority,” said the chief executive.