Do I need a permit for my power generator in Puerto Rico?

By: Javier Vélez Arocho

The short answer to this question is “yes, you do need a permit in order to use an power generator in Puerto Rico”. Whether it be for powering your food truck, a massive industrial generator, or simply emergency operations at home; a permit is required for the purchased power generator. The process for acquiring the permit is similar, but the kind of permit needed will differ according to its use. There is a permit dedicated for home use and another dedicated for commercial purposes.

Portable power generator. Credit: Diatom Environmental

Home-use power generator permits

For home use, it’s important to fill out the PG-GE-RR3 and PG-GE-RR2 where some important information about the generator will be needed. This includes where the intended generator will be placed, emission estimates that must be signed by a certified engineer, and later submit the document package to the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. After this process has been done, it may take over a month to obtain the permit if everything runs smoothly at the agency. In some cases, the permit office might need additional information which could include emission modelling or other related information about the generator.

Credit: Kelly Sikkema

Commercial power generator permits

Different from the home-use generators, the commercial generators are designated to a for-profit use. Some examples of these generators are the ones used in large scale industrial manufacturing. Others are just simply generators plugged in a food truck that power the inside of it. Nonetheless, both require the same procedure for obtaining the permit and operate legally. The process for obtaining the permit is much rather like the home use where a general form must be filled. Different from the previous purpose, it must be stated whether the generator would be used for more than 500 hours a year. If so, then further procedures must be done. Some of these are air analyses, emissions modelling, environmental documents, and environmental estimates.

Commercial electricity generator
Commercial power generator. Credit: Diatom Environmental

Why are so many documents required?

It may seem like a daunting task to perform all these procedures just to get through some red tape, but keep in mind, there is an environmental side to all of this. Most of the information filled is for environmental monitoring and air quality standards. As you can imagine, air must be clean for us to breath it. And emissions monitoring is a great part of the process to keep our air clean. For example, the emissions estimated could be used to consider how many power generators are in a small development so that the neighbors are not surprised with a smoke bomb in the middle of the night. Another example could be related to the emissions modelling additional permits. This one considers air currents, emissions quantity, and types of emissions. Combining these helps to know which direction the emission would be going, how much of it will be there, and what types of emissions will reach a certain area. Again, used to protect the air quality that we all deserve. So, bear in mind that the information provided in the permit process will help the pertaining offices in keeping a safe environment around the generators.


You do need a permit for an power generator regardless of its use. There may be different procedures for commercial and home generators, but the permit process is relatively similar. Our company is prepared to help guide you or assist you in the permit procedures. Finally, it is important to keep in mind that most of the information provided is used to monitor the air quality around us and to ensure we have safe and breathable air.

Don’t hesitate to ask us with any questions regarding the permit process for power generators.


For more information, please schedule an appointment with us today.

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At Diatom Environmental Services in Puerto Rico, we provide the tools and resources to clients to help them to start the permit process the right way. The permitting process in Puerto Rico can be a challenge depending on the proposed activity.
If the project is a small one, it may take only a few months to complete, however more complex projects like cogeneration projects (COGEN), renewable energy, marinas, and manufacturing facilities will require a series of permits at the state and possibly federal level depending on the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
We provide the necessary guidance to prepare all permits applications correctly. This is one of the best steps an organization can take to avoid unnecessary paperwork.
You can schedule a half hour or a one-hour session in our online calendar so we can give you guidance to start the process.
In the working initial session, you will receive personalized assistance to consider your specific needs so our team can help you in designing the best strategy to address unique needs and potential government requirements.
Schedule your appointment, we will be pleased to assist you.
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