Sunday, October 21, 2018

New York Power Authority signs partnership MOU with Puerto Rico utility; releases after-action report 

By on September 24, 2018

SAN JUAN — The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) to continue its support efforts in the island’s rebuilding of its power grid, to “organize and maximize efficiencies” in utility operations, and prepare for future severe storms.

NYPA also issued the New York State Utility Contingent Emergency Response to Hurricane Maria After Action Report, a review of the state utility contingent’s emergency response to Hurricane Maria. Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared news of the MOU and NYPA’s support at a Hurricane Maria anniversary vigil in the Bronx.

“We have learned many lessons from the experiences of the past year that will help guide Puerto Rico as it builds a stronger power system. We are honored to be able to continue to offer our expertise and lessons learned to our ‘family’ in Puerto Rico,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO.

“Having New York State’s support was a blessing during the response after the hurricane,” said José Ortiz Vázquez, Prepa CEO. “Now they will be part of our reconstruction of a modern, quick responding and resilient grid. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the New York State contingent, led by NYPA, for their passion and engagement to rebuild Puerto Rico.”

At Prepa’s request “and laid out in the MOU, NYPA will offer consultation on a wide-range of issues relating to the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s grid, focusing specifically on these areas,” as per the release:

Technical Assistance and Advocacy

NYPA will offer much-needed technical assistance to help stabilize Puerto Rico’s power grid and help advocate for the federal funds necessary to pursue the recommendations offered in the Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico report submitted to Governor Cuomo in December 2017. Those recommendations are based on the report’s working group’s substantial experience with power system recovery, rebuilding and hardening from hurricanes encountered on the U.S. mainland over the last decade. The report especially recognized the need for Puerto Rico to address a series of issues as quickly as possible in order to upgrade its systems in preparation for future storms.

Reform Management and Operations

NYPA will also assist PREPA in rebuilding its grid and reforming management and operations using lessons learned from NYPA’s experience in helping the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) manage power and infrastructure needs after Superstorm Sandy in 2012—one of the most destructive and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. NYPA, in collaboration with LIPA, will share best practices from the LIPA Reform Act of July 2013.

Strengthen Emergency Preparedness

Guided by the After Action Report issued this week, NYPA will help PREPA strengthen its emergency preparedness and resiliency initiatives as it rethinks its response to significant events, facilitates resolution of existing core challenges in Puerto Rico, and pursues continuous improvement of its energy operations.

The After Action Report was compiled by a working group made up of representatives from the New York State utility contingent, industry experts and other stakeholders, including representatives from NYPA, New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, Prepa, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Energy, Con Edison, LIPA, PSEG-Long Island, National Grid, Central Hudson, AVANGRID, Edison Electric Institute, the American Public Power Association and Navigant.

The report identifies and prioritizes recommendations to improve future New York State contingent response efforts. The key recommendations are to:

  • Enhance partnership arrangements between the New York State utility contingent, PREPA and other stakeholders
  • Prepare and train for significant events
  • Facilitate the resolution of existing, core challenges in Puerto Rico
  • Focus on continuous improvement.

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the U.S., operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.

To view videos of the New York utility contingent and the restoration of power in Puerto Rico, visit NYPA’s YouTube page.

New York Power Authority comes to Puerto Rico’s aid

Nearly 1,500 additional grid repair workers headed to Puerto Rico

 

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