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Senate to investigate Prepa power outage; public hearings begin Thursday

By on September 28, 2016

SAN JUAN – The Senate Energy Affairs and Water Resources Committee, chaired by Sen. Ramón Luis

Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves

Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves

, on Wednesday announced the start of public hearings to investigate the reasons for the collapse of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) grid, which left the island without service for more than 50 hours and resulted in multimillion-dollar losses for the local economy. The hearings begin, Thursday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m.

“The Energy Commission has to fulfill its responsibility and respond to the hundreds of thousands of customers who were left without service last week. There are still people without power service today,” he said.

“We want to know what happened, what factors caused the collapse of the system, and most importantly Prepa must explain to us what is its plan of action to prevent this from happening again,” Nieves said.

The senator said there is “much speculation, and our responsibility to the people is to ensure an efficient, safe and reliable service, as well as to ensure Prepa complies with best practices.”

In the news release, Senate President Eduardo Bhatia, author of Act 57 of 2014, the Puerto Rico Energy Transformation and Relief Act, added that “people have a right to know why Puerto Rico’s electric-power system collapsed and why Prepa hasn’t used the billions in debt to modernize the system.”

For the first hearing, Prepa Executive Director Javier Quintana, Fire Chief Ángel Crespo and Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, the president of the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union (Utier by its Spanish acronym), have been called to testify.

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