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HomeCommentaryLegislature CornerLegislature Corner: Senator Explores Clean Energy Infrastructure Solutions

Legislature Corner: Senator Explores Clean Energy Infrastructure Solutions

Senator-at-Large Angel L. Bolques Jr. (file photo)

Senator-At-Large Angel Bolques Jr. toured the Eaton Arecibo Micro Grid in Puerto Rico in a significant stride toward clean energy infrastructure. He was joined by key figures of Eaton Electrical and Industrial Power Management Solutions, Luna Energy Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands Director of Energy and WAPA Governing Board Chair Kyle Fleming, and other energy representatives. The visit illuminated the vital role of microgrids in fostering a resilient, sustainable and efficient energy future.

During the site exploration, which included Eaton’s solar farm and state-of-the-art circuit breaker factory, Sen. Bolques Jr. emphasized the microgrid’s potential to drastically reduce carbon footprints and ensure energy reliability.

“The Eaton Arecibo project, with its 5MW solar plus 1.1MW battery storage microgrid, is a testament to what is possible when innovation meets determination. Seeing firsthand how this technology operates gives me great hope for the future of the Virgin Islands’ energy landscape,” said Bolques.

This visit comes on the heels of the senator’s attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Arecibo Eaton Facility. The event marked a landmark moment in the journey toward the energy resilience of Puerto Rico and was well attended by a distinguished group of industry leaders and visionaries:

Mike Yelton, president, Americas Region, Electrical Sector of Eaton; Victor Mojica, project manager of the Arecibo Micro Grid; Matt Barnes, head of Enel Energy Systems America; Omar J. Marrero Díaz, the secretary of State of Puerto Rico; Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, secretary of the Department of Economic Development; and Commerce (DEDC) and executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO); Agustín F. Carbó, director of the Puerto Rico Grid Recovery and Modernization Team at the DOE; Harold Jones, chief sustainability officer and executive vice president, Eaton Business System, for Eaton; Thomas E. Kierce, APR, director of business development at Lord Construction Group Inc.; and other esteemed Puerto Rican senators and dignitaries.

“I am thrilled to witness the collaboration between Eaton and Enel, which culminated in deploying groundbreaking sustainable energy solutions here in the Caribbean. This initiative is not only vital for Puerto Rico but also shines hope for the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean Islands beyond,” said Sen. Bolques Jr.

Mike Yelton, president Americas Region, Electrical Sector at Eaton, emphasized the project’s broader implications: “Communities and businesses everywhere need far more sustainable, resilient, and affordable power. The projects at our Arecibo manufacturing facility provide a blueprint for how to put the energy transition to work — delivering important benefits for the community and our business. Together, with our longtime project partner Enel North America, we’re demonstrating the important role microgrids play in creating a robust energy infrastructure prepared to address the impact of climate change.”

The Eaton Arecibo project is the largest clean energy microgrid in Puerto Rico, designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes. As Eaton embarks on constructing a second microgrid at its Las Piedras manufacturing facility, the future of Puerto Rico’s energy resilience looks brighter. This venture aligns with Eaton’s long[1]term vision of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, showcasing a steadfast commitment to a sustainable future for Puerto Rico.

Bolques’ visit underscores the importance of adopting innovative energy solutions to combat climate change and foster a sustainable, resilient energy infrastructure. “The insights gained from this visit will undoubtedly fuel our efforts in the Virgin Islands to embrace renewable energy, reduce our carbon footprint and ensure energy reliability for our territory,” said the senator.

The senator extends heartfelt thanks to the Virgin Islands Energy Office and Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Director/Chairman Mr. Kyle Fleming and Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Andrew Smith for accepting my invitation after months of meetings and collaborations

with Energy Stakeholders and encourages all to explore microgrid projects for a deeper understanding of the transformative power of microgrids in tackling energy challenges.







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