Departure of two units from PREPA’s Costa Sur plant causing blackout in different sectors

Multiple sectors experienced a blackout this morning after two units of the Costa Sur power plant, in Guayanilla, of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) went out of service.

The executive director of PREPA, Joshua Columbusassured that at around 6:27 in the morning the service had already been restored to those affected by that incident.

It all started, as reported by PREPA on its social networks, when “at 3:50 am the operator of units 5 and 6 of Costa Sur lost control of the 2 units, causing both to go out of service.”

He added that the “Generation Operations Director is at the Plant to evaluate what happened and return the units to service as soon as possible.”

In a radio interview (WKAQ – 580 AM) this morning, Colón explained that one of the units had an “abrupt change in the load or demand for energy that it served, which caused, for a reason that is under investigation, that the boiler level” and the other unit “lost control of boiler emissions”.

He also said that, after an inspection, no damage was found in both units and “they are in the process of returning it to service.”

“As a result of that event, around 250,000 customers were affected,” he added. “And at 6:27 (in the morning), more or less, all customers were restored thanks to the units of Cambalache, Mayagüez, Palo Seco, Daguao and unit 72 of Ecoelectrica.”

According to Colón, the incident “reflects two things. It reflects the importance of having reserve. We are an isolated system. We continuously indicate that it is important to repair the units, that it is important that we have backup units”.

“We have notified the Energy Bureau on multiple occasions, how important it is for an isolated system like Puerto Rico’s to have ‘blackstart’ and reserve units that may be available when these situations occur,” he added.

PREPA had reported earlier that it was not left with a generation deficiency, having 3,122 megawatts and an operational reserve of 348 megawatts to meet a demand that barely reaches 1,967 megawatts.

In a separate radio interview, LUMA Energy spokesperson, abner gomezassured this morning that 96% of subscribers had already received the service back, after almost three weeks of the onslaught of Hurricane Fiona.

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