Enel X, the Enel Group’s advanced energy services business line, and power management company Eaton announced plans for microgrid development in Puerto Rico. The initial 5-MW solar, 2.2-MWh storage project will be housed at Eaton’s Arecibo plant, which manufactures circuit breakers used in homes, buildings and a range of industrial applications.
“We continue to see the severe impact of the climate crisis, from wildfires in the west to more frequent and powerful hurricanes in the Atlantic, underscoring the need for more sustainable, more resilient energy solutions,” said Surya Panditi, Head of Enel X North America. “Enel X’s agreement with Eaton further expands the collaboration between two leading global energy companies that share a vision for sustainability and fighting climate change. This project leverages each company’s technology and expertise to deliver innovative solutions that will help transform Puerto Rico’s electric grid and provide its facilities with the energy resiliency it needs to maintain operations during grid outages. We are excited to work with Eaton on this microgrid project and continue to identify opportunities for further collaboration going forward.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Enel X will build, own, and operate the system on behalf of Eaton. Eaton will provide the installation expertise and key technology for the microgrid system, which includes its leading microgrid controller and balance of plant electrical distribution equipment. The new microgrid will enable Eaton to generate, store, and consume renewable energy, and deliver it back to the local grid while reducing stress on regional utility infrastructure.
“This state-of-the-art microgrid project demonstrates our focus on accelerating the energy transition and helping customers and communities unlock a low-carbon energy future,” said Brian Brickhouse, president of Eaton’s Electrical Sector, America’s region. “We selected Enel X as our partner in Puerto Rico to help us provide more sustainable and resilient power for the community and are evaluating additional opportunities in the region to provide a microgrid-as-a-service approach together. This project supports our enterprise-wide goal of carbon neutrality in our global operations by 2030.”
The solar + storage microgrid project will combine 5 MWac solar PV combined with approximately 1.1 MW/2.2 MWh of battery storage and will be fully integrated with the facility’s existing electrical systems including onsite power generation. Eaton’s microgrid control technology will balance where, when and how electricity is consumed, to ensure resiliency for the site, including during grid outage events.
Earlier this year, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau, the island’s energy regulator, released its latest integrated resource plan (IRP). Included in the IRP is a mandate for further development of microgrids and renewable energy with targets of at least 3,500 MW of solar and more than 1,300 MW of storage by 2025, as the island continues to rebuild its infrastructure following the 2017 hurricane season.
Like all Enel X storage deployments, the microgrid project will utilize Enel X’s Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Optimization software, and its unique capabilities to maximize the value of the project across multiple applications, including on bill savings, incentive programs, and grid services.
The project demonstrates how Eaton’s Everything as a Grid approach to energy transition can help customers safely add more renewables and energy storage, transforming operations to become more sustainable and resilient, while lowering costs.
News item from Enel X