Regulatory Support for Puerto Rico
Synapse has been engaged with the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, now named the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau, since 2015. Our role includes providing technical support and expert review of materials submitted by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA, the island's sole electric utility). In early 2015, Synapse was engaged by the Regulatory Assistance Program (RAP) to help develop Puerto Rico's first Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) rules. The rule was successfully promulgated in May 2015. Subsequently, Synapse collaborated with RAP to assess PREPA's first IRP, and lead a commission investigation into the development and finalization of the IRP. Over the course of 2015 and into early 2016, Synapse led an increasingly intensive review of the IRP process and findings, as well as the Commission’s first public hearing. The IRP Final Order, largely a result of Synapse's work, was published September 2016.
We have also assisted the Bureau in crafting rules for microgrids and developing performance metrics and incentives. In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we have also supported the Bureau as it guides the utility through its second IRP in the context of expected privatization or concessionaire structures for both generation and electric grid operations. Our engagement in Puerto Rico has been conducted in close partnership with the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). Together, we act as a resource for support and an expansion of the technical and regulatory expertise available to the recently formed regulator.
In 2020, Synapse supported the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau in:
- Completion of the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan process and associated follow-up;
- development and execution of the Optimization proceeding to develop decision-making approaches for resilience investments;
- development of revised demand response and energy efficiency regulations, as well as beginning development of the required cost-effectiveness screening framework and avoided costs; and
- evaluation and development of performance metrics and structures for PREPA and LUMA.