Puerto Rico utility achieves 80% generation; 61% of customers have power
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) Interim Executive Director Justo González Torres announced the public corporation reported during this week that 61.5% of its customers have electricity service, and the utility reached 80% of its generation capacity.
“This week we increased our generation capacity and were able to energize more sectors and communities throughout the island,” González Torres stated in a press release.
With the arrival of additional personnel and materials, the public official recalled that on Jan. 8 more than 150 of the up to 1,500 workers from U.S. public and private electric companies arrived with equipment and materials, including 2,500 to 2,600 distribution transformers.
He added that Prepa will receive 6,000 transformers before the end of the month. This is in addition to about 14,000 poles (wood, concrete and galvanized steel) and 300 miles of cables. It is expected that within the next few days 6,000 additional poles and 1,250 miles of cables will arrive.
“We are confident–with the arrival of more workers, materials and equipment from U.S. electric companies as well as our restoration plan–we will substantially advance the task of reconnecting energy services to all our clients as soon as possible,” González Torres expressed.
He said Prepa expects to have 4,500 to 5,000 people working on the ground as part of the crews who are continuing to rebuild the island’s electric infrastructure and re-energizing sectors and communities that still do not have electricity service.
In addition, González Torres explained that line 50800 between Yabucoa and Sabana Llana is 53% complete; line 51000 between Aguas Buenas and Sabana Llana is 89% complete; while line 50200 between Manatí and Costa Sur is 88% complete.
“Our brigades continue without stopping, including on the Epiphany holiday. There are 3,719 workers laboring to restore electric service as soon as possible, according to the expectations of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares,” the public official commented.
Regarding security measures, the executive director suggested the public should keep away from cables and electric lines on the ground and avoid contact with electric stations, even when they may not appear to be energized, since the facilities may have electricity through generators.
Likewise, he indicated that to speed up restoration of urbanizations’ electricity service, it is important to allow crews access to residences’ back patios, when necessary, and secure all pets so the properly identified workers can make the appropriate repairs.