Monday, October 26, 2020

U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources to hold hearing on Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

By on July 22, 2020

SAN JUAN – The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a full committee oversight hearing Thursday, titled “The Transformation of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority,” that will focus on the future of the island’s energy supply and the fate of the public utility.

Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will lead the hearing to examine the public utility’s “rebuilding status, the transition to renewable energy; and its new agreement with LUMA energy, LLC,” according to a press release.

“This hearing will examine PREPA’s rebuilding status, as the island moves to provide the people of Puerto Rico with reliable, affordable, and clean electricity by transitioning the primary source of power generation to renewable energy. The new agreement with LUMA energy, LLC, for transmission and distribution of electric power will enable the Government of Puerto Rico to modernize the island’s power grid. 

“Under the leadership of Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, the people of Puerto Rico will be provided with reliable and affordable power as the island continues to recover from the major blackout of 2017, which was the longest lasting blackout in U.S. history and left millions without power. Additionally, the island’s power grid is in critical condition following the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and María, and this consortium will provide much-needed operation and maintenance of the grid. 

“As we move forward with these processes, PRFAA will continue collaborating with the House Natural Resources Committee and other Committees of jurisdiction to provide transparent information on Puerto Rico’s energy needs. Our priority is to provide the residents of Puerto Rico and local businesses with an electric grid that can withstand natural disasters and provide reliable power,” the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, Jennifer Storipan, said in a statement.

“We’re hosting a full Committee hearing on Puerto Rico’s power generation, distribution and transition to more sustainable energy sources,” the House committee said in its YouTube video caption. “The island has great renewable energy potential and shouldn’t be forced to rely on fossil fuels. Watch live here at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time as we discuss how PREPA, the island’s power authority, can best provide reliable, clean, low-cost energy for residents on the island.”

The hearing will be held in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Screen capture of www.aoc.gov)

The invited witness are:

José Ortíz

Executive Director

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

Edison Avilés

Chair

Puerto Rico Energy Bureau

Ruth Santiago

Member

Queremos Sol Coalition

Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo

President

Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union

Josen Rossi

President

Puerto Rico Institute for Competitiveness and Sustainable Economy

Fermín Fontanés

Executive Director

Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority

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