Power being steadily restored to Northern Puerto Rico after explosion
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) personnel are working to restore electricity service to thousands of customers who were left without power due to a blackout that occurred around 9 p.m. Sunday after a 115-kilovolt interruptor exploded at the Monacillo Energy Control Center in San Juan.
After the incident was reported, Prepa tweeted that “interruptor 36210 sustained a fault, exploded, and caused the loss of units at Central San Juan and [Central] Palo Seco, which affects service to several municipalities of the metropolitan region, as well as areas of Caguas and Juncos.”
The power utility explained that the event resulted in a loss of 400 megawatts of generation that would be restored gradually as work is completed.
The Fire Department extinguished the fire to the switch that feeds the Villa Betina and Quebrada Negrito substations and the Juncos Transmission Center. No employees were injured in the explosion.
Hours later, Prepa tweeted that several substations in the metropolitan area were energized, specifically, Condado, Minillas, Taft, Egozcue, Escorial, Hato Rey, Baldrich, Berwind and Sabana Llana.
Later it was announced that Unit 1 of the Central Palo Seco power complex and two units installed by the Fire Department entered into service. Unit 5 of Central San Juan was also in operation.
Likewise, it was informed that the Medical Center in Río Piedras and the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina already have power. After 5 a.m. Monday, Prepa said units 7 and 9 of Central San Juan were restored as well. Exact figures of how many customers remain in the dark as a result of the explosion are unknown.