Tug of War on the Energy Front
Blackouts a Part of Painful LUMA Transition; T&D Operator Blames Troubled Grid; Repairs Delayed
The Puerto Rico government gave a $1.5 billion, 15-year contract to LUMA Energy LLC in 2020 to turn around the transmission and distribution (T&D) system of the bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa). But the transition to management by the U.S.-Canadian consortium has been riddled with mishaps, making it a painful process for the utility’s 1.5 million customers.
Practically all of Puerto Rico’s residents and business owners reeled under the most recent islandwide blackout between April 6 and April 10, the longest since the months-long blackout after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s grid in 2017. The recent outage, which tested local hospitals’ ability to remain functioning, cast doubts on LUMA Energy’s claims that the consortium and Prepa are ready for the coming hurricane season.
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