PREPA recognizes the urgent need to reduce the dependence on oil and increase the use of natural gas to stimulate economic development, attract industries, improve the quality of life and create more jobs on the island. Using natural gas at the Aguirre Power Plant will reduce the cost of fuel at the plant, a move that could result in cheaper electricity for the entire island.
The Aguirre Power Plant was selected because it has the largest power-generation capacity on the island and highest fuel cost of all PREPA's facilities. Converting the Plant to natural gas will yield the most savings to the island.
An additional benefit of converting the Aguirre Power Plant to natural gas will be the significant reduction in air emissions from this large facility as well as a reduced number of fuel barges transiting the Jobos Bay Reserve.
When used to generate electricity, natural gas burns cleaner than other fuel sources:
• less sulfur dioxide (the primary precursor of acid rain);
• fewer nitrogen oxides (the primary precursor of smog); and
• less particulate matter (which can affect health and visibility) than oil or coal.
For the Aguirre project, an overall reduction in air emissions is estimated to be the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gases from more than 335,000 passenger cars.
Floating Terminal v. Land Terminal
Excelerate Energy’s floating terminals eliminate the need for costly, land-based terminals, which involve lengthy permitting and construction schedules and require acres of land on which to be built. A Gasport facility can be put into service within 10 to 18 months of being given notice to proceed. This compares very favorably to the 36 to 60 months typical of a land-based facility.