Adriana Castillo, Yiamar Rivera, Javier Nieves, Bridget Ramos and Jan Cordero and Cecilio Ortiz
Puerto Rico is undergoing what could be considered an energy transition period. To effectively design this transition, it's important to incorporate stakeholder analysis in governance schemes. Through a National Science Foundation research grant, the Critical Resilient Infrastructure Systems and Processes project looks to transform the system's characteristics to open its decision-making processes to the participation of all stakeholders, and increase their complexity through IT technologies. Our social science team has focused on stakeholder identification and analysis, and the study of cultural beliefs and values that influence the power dynamics among them. We have conducted structured interviews concentrating on three main aspects: the perception of Puerto Rico’s current energy system, the perception of which actors would play important roles in an energy transition, and perceived viability of a new open access smart grid system proposed by our project on behalf of the engineering team. This proposed new system has been identified by participants as viable; however, the transformation of the system requires reorganization of the island’s main energy utility, the Puerto Rico Energy and Power Authority. Our preliminary findings suggest that the current electrical system lacks transparency and is highly tied to political processes. The project's ongoing efforts include in-depth interviews with stakeholders across various sectors of the energy system, as well as presenting these visions to important actors in the energy sector. Moreover, the project involves the effective integration of both the governance team (CRISP) and the engineering team (OASIS) to envision a transformation for Puerto Rico’s energy system.