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At a time when barely 300,000 subscribers have electricity service two days after Hurricane Fiona, the government and LUMA Energy promised this Tuesday that “a large part of Puerto Rico will be energized” between today and tomorrow.
abner gomezdirector of External Security of LUMA, indicated that helicopters of the consortium are “patrolling” and inspecting transmission lines of 115,000 and 250,000 volts —which are the ones that draw electricity from the plants— to identify damage and repair it as soon as possible. Currently, the inspections are concentrated on the lines that leave the Costa Sur plant, in Guayanilla.
“Once it is certified that there is no damage, we will tell the Electric Power Authority (AEE) to start entering the (generation) machines. When they come into service, we are going to have many more customers energized… progressively and responsibly”Gomez said during the post-Fiona update press conference.
“We are trying not to push the thing too much so as not to affect the generation and take a step back, but great part of Puerto Rico will be energized between today and tomorrow”, he added.
Also, the governor Peter Pierluisi echoed Gomez’s expressions.
“My expectation is that between today and tomorrow, at the latest by the end of tomorrow, a large part of our population will have electricity service. That percentage? I am not going to say it in respect to the evaluation (of damage to the lines) that is being carried out “said.
At the time of this publication, 300,000 or 20% of LUMA’s 1.5 million customers had electric service.
Gómez acknowledged, meanwhile, that in some areas, especially in the south, southwest and mountains, the reestablishment of electrical service “it’s going to take a little longer” for the damage In the net.
increase the generation
On the generation side, the executive director of PREPA, Joshua Columbusreported that, at the stroke of noon, it was at 453 megawatts, after units at the Palo Seco, Cambalache, San Juan and Mayagüez plants came into service.
He added that LUMA and PREPA personnel “are working in coordination” to energize two units of the Aguirre combined cycle, in Salinas, tonight, which would allow “continuing the energization” of the AES cogenerator Puerto Rico, in Guayama.
About the Costa Sur power plant and the EcoEléctrica cogeneration plant, in Peñuelas, he said that they would start operations once the air patrol over the transmission lines ends. If both plants are energized today, it would take between 12 and 16 hours for them to come online.estimated.
On the other hand, Colón assured that the New Fortress company “is ready” to supply natural gas to the San Juan plant, after some faults are corrected in unit #5. He added that the EcoEléctrica tank also has gas for that plant and Costa Sur.
“The head of EcoEléctrica told us that a part of the terminal, which connects with the ship, suffered damage, but it can be corrected without interrupting the operations of the plant and before the next ship arrives”said.