Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is prepared to
serve an entire island nation. The government-owned utility is the
sole electricity distributor for Puerto Rico, where it serves more
than 1.4 million residential and business customers. PREPA owns
five primarily fossil-fueled power plants that, with private
cogenerators and purchased power, give it nearly 5,840 MW of
generating capacity, and it has more than 33,000 miles of
transmission and distribution lines. In order to provide cheaper
options for power production, the Puerto Rican government has
allowed independent power producers to build cogeneration plants on
the island to sell power to PREPA.
PREPA operates in seven regions. It has 33 customer service, 29
technical services, and 38 local offices across Puerto Rico.
PREPA's long-term challenges include declining energy sales,
high oil costs, and high customer rates, among other issues. It is
looking at revenue diversification options and is increasing its
activities to reduce energy theft as a way to cut costs.
To cut costs PREPA is also exploring fuel diversification
strategies. To this end it is engaging independent power producers,
including fossil fuel plant operators, as well as wind farm and
solar power operators, in collaborative efforts. PREPA has an
agreement with Pattern Energy Group in which Pattern will supply
more than 25,000 homes on the island with wind-generated power. The
wind farm, completed in 2012, is the largest in Puerto Rico.
It is also building the Via Verde Pipeline to supply natural gas
from north to south Puerto Rico. Switching power plants from
expensive fuel oil to cheaper natural gas will save PREPA money in
the long-term, but the pipeline itself will cost $74 million to
complete. The overall infrastructure upgrade will cost $450
million, including the conversion of oil-fired power plants to
In 2012 PREPA signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with
Western Wind Energy Corp. for 30 MW pf solar photovoltaic
Founded in 1941, PREPA is directed by a board of nine members,
seven appointed by the Governor, and two elected by and
representing clients. The utility operates 35 client service
offices and 29 technical services offices.