This feasibility study provides the technical and economic rationale for the Microrred de la Montaña as a viable solution for supplying reliable and resilient electricity to an underserved region in Puerto Rico – a region that is the first to be disconnected from the grid and the last to be restored, enduring months long outages. It begins the process of the development of the microgrid through conceptual design, engineering, detailed electrical design, implementation, and operation.
The Microrred de la Montaña is organized under the governance of the Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña (Cooperativa) which has legal status as a cooperative and power provider under the laws of Puerto Rico. The members are the municipalities of Adjuntas, Jayuya, Lares and Utuado with a combined population of 90,000. These municipalities are in central Puerto Rico – a mountainous region that is extremely vulnerable to weather events and excessive, long-duration power outages and are among the poorest and most disadvantaged regions in Puerto Rico. Funding from external sources is necessary to acquire the resources for a resilient power delivery system. Regulatory support is necessary to establish operational relationships with the incumbent power providers.
The Microrred de la Montaña is envisioned as a resilient microgrid that manages distributed energy resources – local solar, storage, and hydroelectricity over an upgraded distribution network within the boundaries of four municipalities.
This feasibility study provides the results of an extensive techno-economic analysis to form a sound basis for decision-making by community leaders, their constituents, funding and investment agencies, and regulators to realize the benefits that are achievable by fully implementing the design and planning recommended for the Microrred de la Montaña.