Vol. 17 - January 2019 | ©2019 by Vidal, Nieves & Bauzá, LLC. All rights reserved.
On October 22, 2019, Senate Bill No. 1121 was presented before the Legislature of Puerto Rico for the creation of the "Public Energy Policy Act of Puerto Rico". The Bill establishes the new public policy on energy of Puerto Rico in order to create the parameters for a resilient, reliable and robust energy system, with fair and reasonable rates for all classes of consumers, enabling the user of the energy service to produce and participate in the generation of energy, facilitate the interconnection of distributed generation systems and microgrids, and disaggregate and transform the electrical system. •Modifies the selection and terms of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority("PREPA")such that it consists of 7 members, 5 of which would be appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, 1 by the public interest and another by the governor without legislative consult. •Modifies the responsibility of the members of the Board ofDirectors of PREPA and its officers by eliminating the criminal liability for continuous violations, and eliminates the monetary penalties for such violations. •Sets a cap on the cost per kilowatt hour that cannot exceed 20 cents, which will take effect 5 years after the Bill becomes law. •The prohibition of the burning of wasteas a source to generate energy would be implemented after the Bill becomes law. •"To eliminate the use of coal before January 1, 2018", the Bill incorporates language regarding theEnergyBureau'sevaluation of the convenience ofsubstituting theexisting generation capacity basedon coal with other sources that comply with thepublic policy on energy by extending contracts and /or renewing existing permits based on the newgeneration source. Given that the Senate didnot concur with the aforementioned amendments to the Bill, a Conference Committee will be assignedto evaluate the Bill before it reaches the governor's consideration. Should your company be interested in learning more about the amendments to Senate Bill No. 1121, you may contact the attorneys at Vidal, Nieves & Bauzá, LLC, a corporate law firm with a special emphasis in energy and environmental matters, corporate, tax, transactional , real estate and insurance practices.