LUMA and PREPA restore electricity service to some 100,000 subscribers affected by a breakdown at the Aguirre power plant

the consortium LUMA Energy and the Electric Power Authority (ESA) reported on Saturday night that some 1.3 million subscribers have electricity and that the service was restored to some 100,000 customers that were left without power again during the afternoon due to a breakdown that occurred at the Aguirre plant.

The general blackout that crosses Puerto Rico since Wednesday night occurred after a breakdown and fire at the Costa Sur plant. The cause is still under investigation.

According to the power grid restoration progress report, as of 11:30 pm on Saturday, Brigades from the consortium and PREPA had restored the service to some 1.3 million subscribers, the same total reached during the morning and which experienced a drop to 1.2 million customers as a result of the incident at the Aguirre plant. In addition, they managed to synchronize some 1,900 megawatts of generation.

However, LUMA warned that service interruptions could occur due to energy demand and ongoing efforts to complete the restoration of electricity throughout the island.

Earlier in the day, LUMA Energy issued the same notice when reporting the failure at the Aguirre plant.

“LUMA and PREPA (Electric Power Authority) teams continue to restore power throughout Puerto Rico and are working hard to restore service as quickly and safely as possible to all remaining customers. While power has been restored to the vast majority of customers, intermittent outages may occur as restoration progresses and depending on generation available Saturday night.”said the president and CEO of LUMA Energy, Wayne Stensby, in a communication sent at 7:24 p.m.

Both LUMA and PREPA again insisted that customers conserve energy “given the generation currently available and the potential energy peaks that will occur during the day and night.”

This morning more than 1,800MW of power generation had been brought online and scaled, but in the afternoon it dropped to 1,700MW.

“The restoration work continues to be a challenge as the LUMA and PREPA teams work to establish and connect more generation during the day and night,” they indicated.

They also urged the consortium’s clients to conserve energy “given the generation currently available and the potential energy peaks that will occur during the day and night.”

“We ask customers to conserve their energy usage throughout Saturday to help reduce energy demand and support the restoration process until more generation comes online,” they added.

Stensby noted in the press release that “We are doing everything we can to minimize this impact while dealing with an energy system that remains very fragile.”

“We understand how frustrating this situation is and we ask our customers for their patience and understanding. LUMA crews will continue to work throughout this event until power is fully restored to all customers,” Stensby said.

In an information update at 8:00 pm, LUMA said that the brigades continue to work throughout the night with the aim of a complete restoration on Sunday morning.

For its part, the public corporation reported that it was able to complete the repair of the condenser of unit 2 of the Aguirre plant, for which operations were normalized, and that they were in the process of increasing generation.

Earlier, at around 5:00 pm, PREPA indicated that it was working on the repair, which would cause the interruption of the service. PREPA added at that time that while the units of the Costa Sur and EcoEléctrica plants “do not return to service, the system will not have the required reserve”.

Yesterday, during a press conference, the executive director of PREPA, Joshua Columbusexplained that the Costa Sur and EcoEléctrica plants, in Peñuelas, are still out of service and that they are waiting for some works to be completed in the transmission and distribution area, in charge of LUMA Energyto “begin unit startup and place them into service”.

Costa Sur and EcoEléctrica (private) are two of the largest plants in Puerto Rico.

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