Puerto Rico

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: Effects of long-running oil-purchase scandal undermine privatization and contract-reform initiatives at PREPA

IEEFA report: Effects of long-running oil-purchase scandal undermine privatization and contract-reform initiatives at PREPA

A scheme that contributed to utility’s ruin and a pattern of whistleblower suppression; Potential new grounds for bondholder claims in bankruptcy proceeding; ‘History is repeating itself in Puerto Rico’

July 18, 2018, SAN JUAN (IEEFA) — A long-running practice in which Puerto Rico’s public utility bought low-quality oil at high-quality prices has been mostly ignored in Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s privatization of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) — “Multibillion-Dollar Oil […]

IEEFA Puerto Rico: PREPA’s Approved Budget Faces Five Years of Shortfalls

Report Puts Average Annual Budget Deficits at $1 Billion; Privatization Will Compound Risks; Hurdles Include Debt Burden and Costly Dependence on Imported Gas and Oil for Electricity Generation

May 25, 1018 (IEEFA) — A budget review published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis of the approved fiscal-recovery blueprint for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) concludes that the plan faces billions in financial risks that will hinder the transformation of the grid. The plan, certified in April by […]

IEEFA Report: Privatizing Puerto Rico’s Electric Company Would Be an Impediment to Modernization  

Plan Would Hurt Ratepayers and Undermine a U.S. Commonwealth’s Entire Economy

Link to Spanish-language press release April 13, 2018 (IEEFA)— The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico would be acting in the public’s best interest by blocking a proposed privatization of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes. The report — “Privatization Bill Will Not […]

April 13, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Report: Puerto Rico Can Get 40% of Its Electricity From Renewables by 2028

Transition Will Require Modernization of Generation, Transmission, and Distribution as Well as Strong Regulatory Oversight

March 1, 2018 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a report today describing how Puerto Rico can get 40 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2028. The report, published with the Puerto Rico Institute of Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy (ICSE-PR), sees the U.S. commonwealth relying on renewables for 50 percent […]

IEEFA Update: Puerto Rico Is at an Urgent Energy-Policy Crossroads Now

Progress Requires Debt Elimination, Greater Reliance on Microgrids and Renewable Energy, Appointment of an Independent PREPA Administrator

OCT. 24, 2017 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) today posted a webinar and data presentation calling for responsible electricity-grid modernization in Puerto Rico and emphasizing the importance of establishing appropriate policy now. The presentation, (download the slide show here) by IEEFA energy consultants Cathy Kunkel and Anna Sommers, follows […]

October 24, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Puerto Rico: The Aguirre Offshore Gas Port Is Unbankable

PREPA Has No Viable Plan to Finance a $380 Million Project, Leaving Ratepayers to Absorb the Costs

At the heart of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s flawed plan to upgrade the island’s crumbling electricity system lies a proposed $380 million facility to bring imported liquefied natural gas into the commonwealth. PREPA, as the authority is known, has been promoting the project for years, even though it would mean a perpetuation of […]

IEEFA Puerto Rico: The PREPA Restructuring Plan Before Congress Is Not Realistic and Does Not Hold All Players Accountable

IEEFA Puerto Rico: The PREPA Restructuring Plan Before Congress Is Not Realistic and Does Not Hold All Players Accountable

Bondholders and Dealmakers Are Not Stepping Up; Citizen Ratepayers and Taxpayers Are Left Holding the Bag Under Proposal Before Congress

Puerto Rico’s electricity-system imbroglio is in the public eye today in Washington, where a house subcommittee is holding a public hearing on a plan to restructure the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s staggering $9.5 billion debt. We’ve written a letter to the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, detailing how the debt restructuring plan sells Puerto Rico […]

March 22, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Puerto Rico: How to Play Hardball With Bondholders

Lessons for PREPA on Placing Customers (and the Economy) Ahead of Creditors

How much of its more than $8 billion in debt can the essentially bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority pay back? A federal oversight board appointed four months ago to supervise debt restructuring for the entire Puerto Rican government offered up an indication last week. The board, empaneled in October under the auspices of the […]

January 24, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Report: Debt Restructuring Deal for Puerto Rico Power Authority Will Not Restore Agency to Financial Health

Flaws Will Result in High Electricity Rates, Burden an Already Ailing Economy, and Prevent the Development of Renewables

CLEVELAND, Aug. 4, 2016 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a report today warning of serious flaws in a debt restructuring deal for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The analysis, by IEEFA’s director of finance, Tom Sanzillo, and Cathy Kunkel, an IEEFA energy analyst, concludes that the restructuring […]

August 4, 2016 Read More →

IEEFA Questions PREPA’s ‘Misguided’ Electric Plan for Puerto Rico; Notes High Risks and Costs; Sees Perpetuation of Import Addiction

Call for Energy Independence in U.S. Commonwealth

‘Extraordinarily Short Shrift to the Potential for Renewable-Energy Development and for Energy-Efficiency Improvements’ CLEVELAND, May 2, 2016 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has filed public comments recommending that the Puerto Rico Electric Commission reject the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s plan to rebuild the island’s electricity system. The comments, which […]

May 3, 2016 Read More →

More News and Commentary

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IEEFA op-ed: Plan to turn to imported natural gas will cost Puerto Rico dearly

More ratepayer-subsidized profits for companies well-represented in Congress

A series of announcements over the past couple of weeks by Puerto Rican officials signals a new—and misguided—push for greater reliance on imported natural gas for electricity production. If these plans come to fruition, they will saddle Puerto Rico with far too much expensive natural gas-generated power while crowding out cheaper renewable energy. The plan, […]

Editorial: ‘Same old trick’ in debt restructuring at Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

Caribbean Business News: The most recent announcement of a preliminary deal between Prepa and its bondholders includes a transition charge to help pay for a bond exchange with creditor constituencies that do not include the monoline bond insurance companies and the fuel-line lenders. This is akin to stalled hyper-mitosis in cell division prior to birth—a […]

August 6, 2018 Read More →
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IEEFA update: New debt deal throws Puerto Rico under the bus

A reckless proposal to benefit creditors while sapping the economy

In a deal it announced this week between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and some of its creditors, the federal Financial Oversight and Management Board, PREPA and the bondholders are only kicking the can down the road. The agreement means that businesses and households across Puerto Rico will be hit with a 10% increase […]

PREPA’s history taints its drive to privatize

The Intercept: If you happen to take tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry, the economics of phasing out fossil fuels in Puerto Rico look fairly straightforward. There aren’t any fossil fuel reserves on the island to be mined, meaning that all traditional fuels need to be shipped there. […]

July 30, 2018 Read More →
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IEEFA update: An influential congressman impedes Puerto Rico’s recovery

Rep. Rob Bishop is interfering at the behest of oil and gas interests

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, has abandoned the sound fiscal stewardship that once made him a leader on fiscal solvency and responsible economic recovery for Puerto Rico. Instead, Bishop has succumbed to the special-interest quagmire in Washington and is now actively promoting unsustainable policies for the battered U.S. commonwealth. […]

IEEFA report: Effects of long-running oil-purchase scandal undermine privatization and contract-reform initiatives at PREPA

IEEFA report: Effects of long-running oil-purchase scandal undermine privatization and contract-reform initiatives at PREPA

A scheme that contributed to utility’s ruin and a pattern of whistleblower suppression; Potential new grounds for bondholder claims in bankruptcy proceeding; ‘History is repeating itself in Puerto Rico’

July 18, 2018, SAN JUAN (IEEFA) — A long-running practice in which Puerto Rico’s public utility bought low-quality oil at high-quality prices has been mostly ignored in Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s privatization of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) — “Multibillion-Dollar Oil […]

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IEEFA update: PREPA privatization law invites more contracting scandals

The door is wide open for conflicts of interest and political hires; New law will not lead to much-needed transformation of energy generation mix

The law that Puerto Rico enacted last month to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has many flaws, including labor protections that are too weak, an unnecessary restructuring of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission and a lack of commitment to strong energy planning. And it is likely to lead to more contracting scandals […]

IEEFA op-ed: Why the SEC should conduct the investigation of Puerto Rico’s debt obligations

One agency is well-positioned to do a thorough and fair review

Puerto Rico’s non-bondholding creditors — companies that have supplied the commonwealth with goods and services such as oil deliveries — have asked the court overseeing the commonwealth’s bankruptcy proceedings to let them conduct an investigation into the territory’s debt history. Clearly, a thorough and objective inquiry is necessary, but the organization most likely and best […]

June 22, 2018 Read More →

Puerto Rico moves forward with utility privatization

NBC News: Puerto Rico is officially moving to privatize and upgrade its outdated power grid exactly 9 months after it was flattened by Hurricane Maria. At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Ricardo Rosselló signed into law the approved legislation that allows parts of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority—known as PREPA in English and […]

June 21, 2018 Read More →
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IEEFA op-ed: Latest Puerto Rico utility privatization plan is as flawed as the original

In its version of a bill to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the Puerto Rico legislature has improved some on Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s original proposal, but lawmakers are ultimately failing the Puerto Rican people every bit as badly as Rosselló has. We’ve criticized the governor’s original privatization proposal for essentially aiming to set […]