Borrego Solar banking on Puerto Rico

Borrego focuses on Puerto RicoBorrego Solar Systems is focusing its biggest growth efforts on Puerto Rico.

The California company started doing business in the United States territory in 2011. A little more than a year later, Borrego is getting close to closing on a swath of projects and has a massive pipeline of others stacked up, said Juan Rodriguez, a senior project manager and professional engineer with the company.

“The government has plenty of incentives,” Rodriguez said. “We believe it could be a very successful hot market within the next couple months.”

Puerto Rico’s incentives could cover up 60 percent of the cost of distributed and commercial solar projects up to 1 megawatt, he said.

The territory passed a renewable energy portfolio standard in 2012 that requires it to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035.

Rodriguez said Puerto Rico is in the ideal situation for significant investment in solar energy. Residents and business owners there pay upward of 28 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity

“It’s extremely high,” Rodriguez said.

And 70 percent of the island territory’s power comes from oil-burning plants.

Rodriguez said he hopes Borrego will be able to break ground on a new Puerto Rico project within a couple months.

“Our pipeline right now has over 30 opportunities in it,” he said.

The company is in negotiations for several power purchase agreements. And if they all go through, Rodriguez said he has no doubt Borrego could be working on more than $100 million in solar projects during the next year.

While Borrego has offices all over the United States and has been doing strong business in California, Rodriguez said Puerto Rico has been a focus for the company the last two years.

“Borrego would like to be a huge player on the island,” Rodriguez said. “We could have more than 100 megawatts here.”