The new fault takes three of EcoEléctrica’s generating units out of service

After three of EcoEléctrica’s generating units in Penuelas went out of service, interruptions in the restoration of electricity service continued Saturday afternoon.

At the time of publication, LUMA Energy did not specify the number of customers or sectors affected by the outage of the private parallel generator. However, the portal reported that as of 12:30 p.m., approximately 856,545 customers were without service across Puerto Rico. According to the Puerto Rico Emergency Portal System, at 10:42 a.m. LUMA reported approximately 785,000 subscribers were without power, and approximately 71,000 customers have since lost service.

A company spokesperson said the outage occurred after the plant’s third unit, located in Penulas, was commissioned.

Daniel Hernandez, director of renewable projects at LUMA Energy, noted that the failure at EcoEléctrica was in response to an internal problem with fuel flow. The Electricity Authority (AEE) confirmed the information on its Twitter account.

“We still don’t have the exact details of what they found. We do know that it was an internal failure in their system that caused the three generators they had to suddenly go out. They had 250 megawatts (MW) connected to the system at the time, so the amount of load shedding happened. The affected customers must be close to 100,000. But “We’re restoring most of them with the generation we already have in stock. (The expectation is) that once EcoEléctrica comes back, we believe it will be a few hours before we can restore 100% of those customers and connect additional customers, which is the plan for the day,” explained Hernández.

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According to Hernandez, before the EcoEléctrica situation in the afternoon, about 50% of the network’s customers had service.

In the early hours of the morning, a fault on transmission line 36900, which runs between EcoEléctrica and Costa Sur in Guanilla, has already left 140,000 subscribers without power. Five days after Hurricane Fiona, the power system was able to power more than 50% of the population for the first time.

A spokeswoman for LUMA Energy said the failure on Line 36900 was the result of electrical damage identified while testing its power.

“Because electrical damage is often invisible, when you power it up, you see a problem with an insulator or a component that looks good physically, but when you energize it, it shows that there is a problem. That’s what happened. The Costa Sur unit went out of control with a disturbance and that “Not operational due to the disruption. But it is already back in service to the same capacity as they had this morning,” Hernandez assured.

According to LUMA Energy, 823,000 of the network’s 1,468,223 customers had power last night, equivalent to 56%. Starting from the number of subscribers without expressed power, about 611,000 customers, or less than 42%, will receive service after EcoEléctrica goes out. Hernández indicated that if EcoEléctrica can restart the plants, it could return to 50% later in the day.

Engineer, former director of Generation of PREPA, today’s expectation is that the public utility and co-generators will be able to inject about 1,800 MW into the network. According to Hernández, this generation will represent 60% of the 3,000 MW needed to maintain electricity and a healthy balance for the entire country.

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Hernandez explained that today the entire island is connected by 230,000-volt transmission lines, except for a section between Isabela and Mayaguez where the Mora substation has a 115,000-volt line.

However, power supply remains LUMA’s “biggest challenge” at the moment, Hernandez said, echoing the words of Earl “Duke” Austin, president of the federation’s parent company, Quanta Services.

“The good news is that everything we’ve energized so far is grounded, meaning those distribution lines that look like they’re undamaged are energized, and we’ve been able to make good progress in that regard. Of course, there are areas in the south and southwest that have poles on the ground, and with all the teams we have in those areas. We are working so that when the time comes to excite those lines they can enter without problems,” said Hernandez. .

The LUMA official indicated that he would later provide data reflecting the pace of recovery work in the distribution area.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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