Puerto Rico Microgrid Market to More than Double…Australia Advocacy Group Forms…Nigeria Extends RFP Deadline

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Microgrid market to double in Puerto Rico
microgrid market

Sign from Unite for Puerto Rico Washington Rally in Washington DC on October 11, 2017. Image by Rena Schild/Shutterstock

Puerto Rico’s microgrid market will more than double by the end of 2024, reaching 228 MW, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie.

The report say that firms will compete for $419 million in projects at the top of the market.

The US territory now ranks 14 among state markets for microgrid capacity, according to the research firm. As of March, it had  26 microgrids totaling 86 MW.

Puerto Rico’s flight to microgridding followed Hurricane Maria, which in 2017 destroyed much of the island’s central grid.

Since the hurricane, Puerto Rico has seen an increase in microgrids, reaching a total of 26 installations with 86MW of generation capacity as of March 2019. This makes Puerto Rico the 14th largest state market by total installed microgrid capacity.

Isaac Maze-Rothstein, research associate with Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, said: “Current policy uncertainty will prevent many microgrids from coming online during the 2019-2020 period. This can be traced back to the historic lack of clarity on interconnection, as well as the ongoing privatisation process of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.”

He added: “However, as these barriers will be largely resolved by 2020, we see significant growth starting in 2021. We are optimistic offtakers will be able to monetise net metering for microgrids, have standardised interconnection costs, and access increasingly affordable third-party financing.”

Out of Australia’s vibrant microgrid market, an advocacy group forms

A new Australia-based organization has formed to accelerate global development of microgrids.

Called the International Microgrid Association (IMA), the group is based in Perth, Western Australia, which is undergoing rapid development of microgrids. Horizon Power, a utility that is a founding member of IMA, owns and operates 37 microgrids across the state.

Other members of IMA include Cisco, Schneider Electric, Telstra, UWA, Woodside and ATCO Gas.

“The focus of this industry-first development body is to bring together key players to support, through cross-sector collaboration, investment and acceleration of innovative, cost effective microgrid technologies and capabilities across the world,” said Terry Mohn, IMA chair. “In doing this, our aim is to underscore the reliability, resilience, security and inter-operability of these modern energy systems.’

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In Australia, the federal government recently announced a $50 million budget proposal to support feasibility studies for microgrids to help power regional and remote communities.

“Western Australia, through Horizon Power’s world-leading distributed energy resources projects and trials, is leading the international microgrid sector, making WA an obvious choice for the IMA’s base,” Mohn said.

Nigeria extends deadline for minigrid proposals

The Nigerian government has extended its June 3 deadline to June 17 in the first phase of its solicitation for minigrid projects, part of a program to finance rural electrification.

In the ‘invitation for initial selection,’ Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) seeks solar hybrid minigrid projects for 57 sites, packaged into four lots in the Niger, Sokoto, Ogun, and Cross River states. A full request for propoals will be issued in the second phase, planned for July.

Bid winners will receive subsidies to build, own, and operate the minigrids. Proposals will be evaluated based on project quality and price. Winners will receive performance-based grants with the amount determined competitively through the tender.

Those interested in participating can contact REA, Attn: Esther Adejoke Odumusu Head, PMU – NEP No. 22 Freetown, Wuse II 900288, Abuja Nigeria Tel: +234 803 499 5157 Tel: +234 817 217 2915 E-mail: nep@rea.gov.ng. the initial selection web page is http://rea.gov.ng/mini-grid-ten.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

Comments

  1. Odinaka says:

    Hello Elisa Wood,

    I always enjoy reading your articles and gaining new insight into the Energy industry. Please can you tell me the tools and resources you use to research on the content of your articles? I am in the process of writing articles on the market size of microgrids and its importance in developing countries. As this is my first time writing an article to be published, I would like firm guidance to ensure the information provided in the article is accurate and compelling to its audience.

    I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

  2. It seems Puerto Rico’s power problems is due mainly to a corrupt power authority that has been allowed to operate incompetently for years. The PREPA was almost in bankruptcy when Maria hit the island in 2017. One of the ‘former’ CEOs of PREPA was trying to sell an agreement with a generator company for a $1.2 billion dollar generator (leasing) contract to shore up the grid. For $1.2 billion dollars the people of Puerto Rico would be better off with solar PV and energy storage facilities as micro-grids distributed over the island. One could put in some fairly large micro-grids of around 400kWp with 1.6MWh energy storage packages costing about $955K per micro-grid. For the same $1.2 billion debt, the people of Puerto Rico would have 1250 micro-grids instead of a generator lease for two years.

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