USDA Rural Development, Puerto Rico Held a Powering Affordable Clean Energy Event in “El Portal de El Yunque.”
The Event Was Held, Wednesday June 28th, 2023.
San Juan, PR, July 6, 2023 – Maximiliano J. Trujillo-Ortega, Director of USDA Rural Development Puerto Rico, indicated that USDA Rural Development Puerto Rico held a Powering Affordable Clean Energy Event in “El Portal de El Yunque” in Rio Grande.
Andrew Berke, USDA Rural Development Administrator of the Rural Utility Service (RUS) Program, explained renewable energy programs, Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) and the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) whose purpose is to deploy clean energy and to power our rural communities. Berke also explained the stakeholder how to apply. For the PACE program, Administrator Berke indicated that the program is available to eligible applicants that generate electricity for resale to residents in both rural and nonrural areas.
Administrator Berke announced that the submission period for the letter of interest is July 10, 2023. He also highlighted that at least 50% of the population serve by the proposed renewable energy project must live in a community with population of 20,000 or less.
Maximiliano J. Trujillo-Ortega indicated that $300 million was allocated to Puerto Rico and the territories, Tribal population, and states with compacts with the United States. Under the PACE program, applicants from Puerto Rico are eligible for up to 60% of loan forgiveness.
One of the purposes of the workshop was to demonstrate how USDA Rural Development, the Environmental Protection Division (EPA) and Puerto Rico Grid Recovery & Modernization Team (DOE) work together to bring opportunities to Puerto Rico and promote creativity in how to bring to the island renewable energy systems to Landfills, Brownfields and Water Reservoirs.
Trujillo-Ortega appreciates the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau Chairman Mr. Edison Aviles-Deliz and his commitment to promote more rural electric cooperatives on the island. The Agency also appreciate the support of energy trade associations to expand renewable energy systems in the island.
We also discussed examples of Renewable Technologies and potential use in Puerto Rico, in a panel compose by Elizabeth Helsel of RETTEW, Felix Mena, Director of the Energy Division of PR Aqueduct Sewer Authority, and CP Smith of Cooperativa Electrica de la Montaña.
The last Panel was about Clean Energy and the Environment, and we had the participation of Eduardo Gonzalez, Environmental Engineer of EPA, Gilberto Guevara, Renewable Lead of Puerto Rico Science Trust, Antonio Rios, Special Advisor and Carlos Velazquez, Program Director of Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). The moderator of the panel was Luis Cruz Arroyo, Caribbean Area Director of USDA NRCS.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, creates jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of American in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/pr.
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