Countries generally produce electricity using a combination of renewable and non-renewable sources. Renewable sources are those that we have in infinite quantities such as the rays of the sun, the wind and the water currents in a river. Non-renewable sources are limited and one day the reserves we have will be depleted. Non-renewable sources are coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium used in nuclear reactors.
We at LUMA are in charge of the transmission and distribution components of the electric grid while PREPA continues to be in charge of the generation component. We power your home or business with the energy generated by PREPA’s generating plants and by private companies such as EcoEléctrica and AES. Today, all of this energy comes from non-renewable sources, specifically natural gas, oil, and coal. PREPA will, over time, alter its generation profile to include more renewable sources. This process will require large investments by PREPA and / or other private entities.
Some families are investing in renewable energy systems (mainly solar, but also wind or wind and others) to power their homes. Solar systems consist of photovoltaic panels that are made of a material that produces direct current when they receive sunlight. Direct current goes from the panels to the inverter. The inverter transforms direct current into alternating current. The alternating current can feed homes and businesses because that is the type of current that appliances, lights, computers need, in short, all the electrical devices that we use.
The amount of direct current that solar panels produce varies constantly depending on the intensity of the sun, the time of day, and weather conditions, among others. When the day is cloudy, during the night and when it rains, the photovoltaic system produces no or very little current. The appliances do not tolerate this variability in the current, so these deficits must be supplemented with current from the Puerto Rico electrical system, or using energy stored in batteries.
If you purchase a solar system and have it installed by a licensed and certified Renewable Energy System Installer, you can register that system with us and we will provide you with a special meter. This meter counts the energy your system produces and the energy you receive from us (the energy you use at night or during cloudy days, for example). This is known as a net metering. When your system produces more electricity than your home or business needs, that energy is exported to the electrical grid and when it does not produce enough, what is missing matters. The meter data is used to calculate your bill giving you credit for the energy you produce.
If you would like more information on how to interconnect a renewable system for your home or business, visit our Distributed Generation (DG) portal.
For more information, email us at [email protected].