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Governor Pedro Pierluzzi stressed that his expectation is to have electricity in “the majority” of the country by the end of today, but he pointed out that his request to the Electricity Authority and LUMA Energy excludes the southern municipalities that suffered the most damage. As a result of the attack by Cyclone Fiona.
“Especially in the south of Puerto Rico there is significant damage to the power grid. It will take time in those towns. What I said yesterday and what I will reiterate is that I want the majority of subscribers throughout the island to receive their service today,” the president said in a press conference.
The governor said the increase in subscribers to the registered service since yesterday was “significant”, but said “I am not satisfied”.
“I want it to continue to increase,” Pierluzzi said.
Last night, approximately 20% of customers had their electricity service restored and today, according to an update from LUMA Energy, 394,639 consumers have power, which is less than 27% of subscribers.
Pierluisi, on the other hand, denied that LUMA had deviated from its commitment to energize the country in a few days. Today, in a radio interview (1320 AM), LUMA’s security manager, Ábner Gómez, said it was irresponsible to guarantee that 75% of the network’s customers would receive service by the end of the week or before, while he acknowledged repairs. The most affected areas will last until at least October.
“They don’t want to create an expectation that a large portion of subscribers will have service in all the cities of Puerto Rico,” the chief executive said.
Likewise, Pierluisi asserted that it was necessary to avoid major damage to production units as a result of power rush.
“We don’t want generating units to turn on and connect lightly, and then have severe damage to those generating units because the network can’t handle the load,” Pierluisi said.
Daniel Hernandez, director of renewable energy programs at LUMA, pointed out at the press conference that the key to significantly increasing the number of subscribers with the service will be connecting the system’s six main plants, Palo Seco, Central, through transmission lines. San Juan, Aguirre, EcoEléctrica, Costa Sur and AES.
Currently, for example, the 230 volt lines that depart from Costa Sur and go to Arecibo and Manatí respectively are not in service, explained the former PREPA generation director.
“If we can close the ‘loop’ (circuit) of the transmission lines in the eastern region, I have high hopes that a large portion of the customers in that region will be able to connect at least to good substations. , as well as hospitals. We have many more hospitals that we need to take care of, “There’s also a lot of critical infrastructure. We can’t accelerate too much because we’re going to expose the system to a crash, which has happened before,” Hernandez warned.
A LUMA official could not say how many hospitals currently have the service, but estimated the number to fluctuate between 40 and 60. There are approximately 68 hospitals in Puerto Rico.
Hernández also pointed out that among the problems identified by the federation are three substations, Dorado, Hormigueros and Aguadilla, which are still under water due to flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona. The system has about 400 substations, Hernandez said.
Gómez, for his part, refers to a “large part” of Puerto Rico in the short term, referring to the “northern half” of the country, an area that accounts for 60% of electricity customers. Net, estimated.
“The governor is committed with us to energize Puerto Rico as soon as possible. He, being our governor, is doing the same. We support all the efforts here and we work as a team. We want to exceed expectations, but we have to be responsible because, as we said, we are holding ourselves accountable in the process. Trying to get ahead of it can damage the generation process,” Gomes said.
PREPA’s executive director, Jose Colon, said yesterday that Tuesday was a day of “great challenges”. He noted, for example, that PREPA had problems at Unit 9 in San Juan, and peak units at the Mayagüez and Cambalache plants, which had been operating in isolation, experienced breakdowns when trying to unify systems due to a burst lightning rod. 38,000 volt transmission line.
At dawn, “The problems with the lines and the units have been resolved, the units are already out and since we have a connection to the metropolitan area, the line from Bayamón to Manatee went into service last night, so the units continued. Enter with the units of Palo Seco and (Central) San Juan but already synchronized with the power system of San Juan. . The system is already united, Mayaguez, Campalache, San Juan, Palo Seco and Aguirre”, Colon said.