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US Department of Energy selects first-ever Director of Puerto Rico Grid Modernization and Recovery Team

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Federal Government, Puerto Rico | 0 comments

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Agustín Carbó has been selected to serve as the Director for the new Puerto Rico Grid Modernization and Recovery Team (PR Grid Modernization Team). US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm made the announcement during keynote remarks at the 6th annual Solar + Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico Summit in San Juan. The PR Grid Modernization Team, led by DOE, will support Puerto Rico in rebuilding an electricity grid that is more resilient, more secure, and capable of supporting 100% clean electricity by 2050.  

“It is simply unacceptable that in the 21st century, Puerto Ricans continue to bear the burden of an unreliable electrical grid because of obstacles to needed investments and delays to essential improvements,” said Secretary Granholm. “I am proud to announce that Agustín Carbó, a son of Puerto Rico, has been selected to lead the grid recovery and modernization work on the island to help cut through unnecessary implementation barriers so that we can swiftly deliver a resilient and secure grid Puerto Ricans deserve.”  

The PR Grid Modernization and Recovery Team 

In early October, following the devastating Hurricane Fiona, President Biden announced the PRGrid Modernization Team. The PR Grid Modernization Team will work across the federal government—including with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Commerce—to coordinate technical assistance and access federal funding in an expeditious and strategic manner.   

The PR Grid Modernization Team will work closely with government leadership in Puerto Rico to help identify and overcome impediments to rapid infrastructure deployment to provide the island with clean, reliable, and affordable power and to expedite current rebuilding activities. 

Agustín Carbó, Director of the PR Grid Modernization and Recovery Team 

Currently residing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Agustín Carbó previously served as the first Chairman of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (now the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau), Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Solid Waste Authority and Assistant Regional Counsel at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Dallas, Texas. During his time at EPA, Carbó led the Federal Implementation Plan rulemaking process for one of the largest energy generation plants in the United States. 

Carbó holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University, a Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School, and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University. 

Immediately prior to serving as the Director of the PR Grid Modernization and Recovery Team, Carbó served as a Director for Energy Transition with the Environmental Defense Fund.  

Carbó will continue to reside in San Juan during his tenure as Director of the PR Grid Modernization and Recovery Team.  

DOE’s Commitment to Helping Puerto Rico Achieve 100% Clean Electricity by 2050 

In February 2022, DOE joined the Departments of Homeland Security, FEMA, Housing and Urban Development, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to kickstart the PR100 Study—a community-driven and locally tailored roadmap to help Puerto Rico meet its target of 100% renewable electricity, improve power sector resiliency, and increase access to more affordable energy and cleaner air. 
 
With the Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transition to 100% Renewable Energy (PR100) Study, DOE will leverage the world-class expertise and advanced modeling capabilities of the National Labs to ensure that funded energy recovery actions align with Puerto Rico energy policy and resilience needs, are coordinated across sectors, and align with industry best practices. 
 
The PR Grid Modernization Team will draw from the PR100 findings to coordinate federal funding streams and overcome impediments to infrastructure deployment.    

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-José Vélez González is a native from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate from Florida International University in biomedical engineering, engineering management, with a minor in international relations. He served as the national executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association for 5 years. He lives in Washington, DC, where he works at the Children’s National Research Institute and runs Opsin, a nonprofit design studio dedicated to making design more accessible. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Pasquines.

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