Infinigen Renewables, a platform focused on utility-scale solar as well as commercial and industrial (C&I) projects, has become a leading part of a growing transformation in Puerto Rico, where reliability and sustainability in the power sector are a top priority.
As an independent solar power producer and operator, Infinigen’s assets on the island have been making an impact in Puerto Rico since 2015. The company operates two solar PV plants – Horizon Solar Park in Salinas and Oriana Solar Park in Isabela. Together, the solar parks have a combined capacity of 73.2 MW dc.
The Horizon Solar Park became operational in 2015 and was the first park of its kind to meet the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (“PREPA”) strict technical requirements. Horizon generates 23,000 MWh of clean energy annually, enough to power about 2,500 homes.
The Oriana solar facility is the largest operational PV farm in Puerto Rico, responsible for approximately 30% of the island’s solar generating capacity. Since operations began at the park in 2016, Oriana has greatly expanded Puerto Rico’s clean energy path, producing 92,000 MWh annually and powering nearly 10,000 homes on the island.
Over the past eight years, Infinigen’s two solar parks have been responsible for eliminating the emission of 72,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually into Puerto Rico’s environment.
“The tremendous impact of our platform is a testament to the dedication and commitment we all have to achieving a more sustainable, cleaner future for Puerto Rico,” says Leslie Hufstetler, CEO of Infinigen Renewables. “We intend to keep doing our part to help Puerto Rico get to the goal of providing electricity that is 100% renewable sourced by 2050.”
Leading the charge
Infinigen’s success in the solar sector is largely accredited to its team of global experts who are innovators in the development and operation of renewable assets. Leadership within the company is comprised of individuals who readily accept responsibility for using their knowledge and skills to create a more sustainable future.
“At Infinigen, we have a culture that is founded on strong collaboration, the freedom to share ideas, and thriving on the notion to go above and beyond in everything that we do,” Hufstetler said. “It is important to us that we not only build trust with our communities, but also encourage a high level of values and commitment to our internal operations as well.”
In 2017, powerful hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico, knocking out a power grid reliant on imported fossil fuels and causing hardships in renewing power to homes and businesses, in some cases for many months. The events further highlighted the vulnerability of Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure and intensified the need for alternatives such as solar power.
In response, Puerto Rico enacted an energy public policy act in 2019 to transform the island’s energy generation to be produced completely by renewable sources by 2050, with a shorter-term goal of 40% by 2025. Infinigen has been actively participating in PREPA’s request for proposals to achieve this goal. In 2022, the platform’s financial sponsor ArcLight Capital Partners announced that Infinigen’s Yabucoa project was awarded a 32.1 MWac Power Purchase and Operating Agreement (“PPOA”) from PREPA, furthering the company’s renewable energy foothold in Puerto Rico.
“Stakeholders continue to embrace the benefits of solar energy and can now rely on Infinigen’s expertise in implementing the needed infrastructure to maximize its benefits,” Hufstetler said. “Infinigen’s presence in Puerto Rico since 2011 has positioned the platform as an invaluable resource in helping the island move toward achieving its renewable energy goals.”
Infinigen’s impact in Puerto Rico, backed by ArcLight’s extensive dedication to infrastructure investments, not only works toward solving issues with the power grid, but it also provides positive residual effects. Investing in solar energy generates a greater economic influence.
Some of those ways include:
- Lowering energy costs for all, as sunlight, unlike fossil fuels, abundantly comes at no cost. Businesses, residents and government agencies now have freed up spending to boost other economic areas.
- Opening paths to further solar infrastructure investments as they create a robust renewable energy ecosystem.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing a clean and renewable source of power that provides cleaner air quality for residents.
- Serving as a leader of sustainability innovation and technological advancement in the industry.
Infinigen is also influencing the Puerto Rican economy through job creation. The construction of Horizon Solar Park provided 210 jobs and the Oriana Solar Park was responsible for employing more than 1,200 during its construction. Whether directly with Infinigen’s workforce, or indirectly with partnering companies, more employment opportunities have been generated as a result.
Infinigen’s presence in Puerto Rico has strengthened the overall workforce development of the island. Additionally, it positions the company to extend its footprint in the solar energy industry, with a goal of expanding to other areas of the Caribbean as well as North America.
“While Infinigen’s work on the island of Puerto Rico has been ongoing for a relatively short time, we already see major impacts from the company’s work,” said Hufstetler. “We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of what Infinigen can contribute, and we are excited to watch the transformation of power from uncertainty to reliability and sustainability.”