A Plan to Use Federal Recovery Funds for Resilient Power in Puerto Rico

September 25, 2018

Lew Milford | Clean Energy Group

Clean Energy Group developed a proposal for how Congressionally-approved Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DG) funds could be used to develop a dedicated solar and storage incentive program on Puerto Rico. The proposal entails:

  1. A new $1 billion storage incentive spread over five years that would buy-down the cost of battery storage and solar systems, which could result in hundreds of thousands of such systems on homes, businesses, community, nonprofit and government buildings.
  2. An additional $100 million financial guaranty payment product, funded with CDBG-DG funds; this would backstop solar and storage installations and allow for access for lower credit score customers.

In this draft proposal, Clean Energy Group explains how such an incentive is critical to get widespread adoption of solar and battery storage throughout the Commonwealth. The proposal is crafted in response to the Commonwealth’s final Recovery Plan that was filed with the federal government in early August 2018; that plan requested comments in a public process.

This proposal is designed so government officials, NGOs, and other parties on the island can consider some new approaches to resilient power financing. In the end, we note that a transparent program design process where all voices on the island are heard is needed to decide on specific incentive details.

This proposal was originally drafted in June 2018 and was updated in September 2018.

In line with our proposal, the government of Puerto Rico in late November 2018 submitted its final Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery Action Plan to HUD that includes a $436 million solar and storage incentive funded by federal CDBG-DR funds. HUD has 45 days to approve the plan.