Rules are Catching Up!

You can build your own electric grid now. Yeah.... really! Let us explain.

Explaining what's going on and how the electric grid is modernizing without a textbook length history lesson paired with several more textbooks of grid operation and electrical engineering and economics knowledge is tough. We'll do it anyway here because that's what we're about!

First of all, let's just establish one core feature of United States electrical grid rules:

The reaction to both the 1973 Energy Crisis and later on the perceived risk of foreign energy dependence in 2005 was to require electric utility firms to set up standards for methods for distributed energy generation to tie in and receive net metering from the electric grid.

In more plain English, this means the energy sector in the US has standards "set in stone" for people to plug their electrical generating equipment, such as a rooftop solar system or someone's wind turbine field system, into the electric grid and participate in the market of energy supply.

If it weren't for these rules, utility firms most likely would just block anyone trying to sell their power unless they could squeeze out the best terms possible for themselves. If a solar power plant wanted to sell their power for $30 a megawatt-hour to customers in Florida, Florida Power & Light, the local utility, would reject their effort if it would hurt their income on the coal power plants they still can operate and sell power for. Since as a society, we allow electrical utilities to hold their natural monopoly on our grids, this is the tradeoff we've gone with so far.

Okay, that's enough textbook lecture for a while. What is going on. right. now? What should we be excited about being allowed to do now?

Well, for DexGrid's sake, we're focused on Puerto Rico grids. Why? Because people here really, really want to disconnect from their utility power provider here, PREPA.


What wasn't mentioned above is that, while utilities are required to allow for tie in and net metering of distributed generation of electricity, each state(or territory) was left to decide on their own how to handle it. In the case of Puerto Rico, we have Ley 114-2007.

Ley 114-2007

This law requires PREPA to allow you to plug your solar rooftop system into their grid and receive credit for the power you produce and supply to the grid.

For primary source on energy laws and regulations in Puerto Rico, click this link. We will summarize these below.

Ley 103-2012

This law was written to allow for larger systems, from 38 kilovolts through 115 kilovolts and up to 5 megawatts, to plug in.

Ley 115-1976

Certification law for electrical professionals in Puerto Rico. Sets requirements for when their services are required by law for certain functions.

Rules for governing the Puerto Rico electric industry, including structure and wheeling.

This Act updates and unifies policy initiatives pursuant to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Enabling Act, the Puerto Rico Electrical System Transformation Act, the Puerto Rico Energy Transformation and Relief Act, the Puerto Rico Public Policy Act on Energy Diversification Through Alternative and Sustainable Renewable Energy, and the Net Metering Act, among others. A summary of some of the key provisions of the Act follows.

Rules set up by the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (the local energy regulator) on how to legally develop and operate your own microgrid. It breaks down the types of microgrids as personal, cooperative, third-party, and other microgrids. It lays out requirements, including having an operational plan reviewed, ownership share requirements, filing an application, size requirements, power rate structure for consumers of electricity (billing), contract standards with grid customers, reporting requirements and the certification process.

Community Microgrid projects incubated in the GridLauncher fall under the category Third-party microgrids. An Energy Service Company is registered with the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau to comply with the minimum requirements. This looks like:

This act is to create the “Public Policy on Energy Diversification by Means of Sustainable and Alternative Renewable Energy in Puerto Rico Act”; to establish the standards to promote the generation of renewable energy pursuant to short, medium, and long term mandatory goals known as Renewable Portfolio Standards; to create the Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Commission as the entity charged with overseeing compliance with the Renewable Portfolio Standards established hereunder and set forth its duties; to set forth the duties of the Energy Affairs Administration with respect to the Commission and the Renewable Portfolio Standards; and for other related purposes.

Regulation 8701

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