Power utility closer to revealing number of Puerto Rico customers with service restored
SAN JUAN – The interim executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), Justo González, announced Tuesday that the public utility continues working to restore specific sectors in the island’s 78 municipalities, and that it will soon begin to disclose the percentage of customers with electricity.
“As of today, we have 69.8 percent of the country’s generation, compared with the same date last year. Soon, at some point we are going to be changing to readings based on customers and that we can say how many we have with power. We are validating this method and within the validation we want to be responsible and provide the correct information. At some point this week, we will be making the announcement,” González said.
The official made his remarks in a video posted on social media in which he informed his daily work program throughout the island as part of efforts to restore and stabilize the electrical grid, which was severely affected by Hurricane María
“Adjuntas, Corozal, Morovis [were energized]; Ciales, either today and tomorrow; the area of Patillas was energized with a [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)] generator; Maunabo; we already have Naguabo; and we lack Yabucoa, which we expect Tuesday or Wednesday [to be have power restored]. With these, we complement the 78 Puerto Rican towns energized,” he said.
According to a release, Prepa crews will be working in sectors of Hatillo, Barceloneta, Ciales, Manatí, Jayuya, Canóvanas, Río Grande, Vieques, Culebra, Trujillo Alto, Guaynabo, Vega Baja, Corozal, Yabucoa, Maunabo, Caguas, Lares and Villalba, among others.
“We have made great advancements this weekend. Among the work we did in towns in the center of the island and those towns that still did not have electricity, I have to tell you we already worked in the area of Morovis and Ciales. Morovis was already energized last Saturday and the urban area of Morovis was completely energized. I was in that area last Saturday and saw the energization process,” the director of the public corporation explained. “It was excellent to see how people saw all that change when we [restored] power. To see people’s joy, that gives us a lot of satisfaction,” he added.
He indicated that the power line that runs between Corozal and Morovis was also worked on.
González expects power to Ciales to be restored between Tuesday and Wednesday. “We had difficulties with one of the towers in the high part of one of the mountains…and also with the lines. Ciales-related work went on Sunday and also Monday. We hope to have it energized, if not today, by tomorrow; its urban center will be energized by tomorrow,” he said.
He mentioned that the urban area, some sectors and commercial areas of Maunabo were supplied power with three USACE generators. In Naguabo, power was also restored with a generator.
“I have good news for our friends from Yabucoa. We were looking for a converter for more or less 8,000 volts. We already have it. That converter is already being transported to Yabucoa. The generators are in place already and we hope that between today and tomorrow, at the latest tomorrow, Yabucoa will be energized. We are going to try to energize it today, but the the latest will be tomorrow,” González announced.
He reiterated that municipalities such as Jayuya, Adjuntas and Patillas already have service restored.
“We continue working toward Castañer [Lares]. We are aiming for Castañer Hospital. Our brigades are still working in that direction and possibly, at some point next week, we will have Castañer Hospital energized with power lines since it is currently powered by generators from the Corps of Engineers,” he said.
He assured Vieques and Culebra have power and that transmission lines continue to fixed in the latter.
Regarding work in the metropolitan area, González said sectors of San Juan’s Villa Palmeras were restored, as well as Eduardo Conde Avenue up to San Jorge Hospital, the Jardines de Cupey residential area, other Cupey roads, the San Ramón urbanization, Puerto Nuevo, and the Jardines Metropolitano, University Gardens and Sagrado Corazón urbanization, among others, now have power.
The interim director indicated that in Bayamón, several streets in the Reparto Teresita area were powered, on PR-872, the PR-862 interior road and PR-864. In addition, five transformers that supply sectors such as the Valencia urbanization, Rosa Street, Villas de San Miguel and Villa España have electricity.
Sectors of Dorado, Naranjito, Isabela, Río Grande, Florida and others were also energized.
González said the percentage of customers with power will begin to be announced shortly.
“We have continued to work intensively to continue energizing Puerto Rico and among the goals we have is to energize our country as soon as possible,” he said.