Utility workers, feds ready major new push to fix Puerto Rico’s grid
More than 1,000 electric utility workers will descend on Puerto Rico in January in a major new push with federal agencies to finally fix Puerto Rico’s ailing electric grid.
The wave of 1,500 workers will arrive on the U.S. island territory in early January, said the Edison Electric Institute, the lead trade association for investor-owned utility companies that are leading the response with the government.
The trade group announced the effort Tuesday night, saying a total of 5,500 utility workers will be on the island as part of the major push to assess and fix the island’s damaged electric grid.
At least 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s residents are still without power in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, according to reports.
A recent report by the nonpartisan Rocky Mountain Institute said 50 percent of the island’s residents went without power for two months, marking the longest loss of electric power in U.S. history.
The new response plan is to complete a “full damage assessment” of Puerto Rico’s grid and use that information to develop and update a “closely coordinated restoration plan” for the island.
The electric utility industry has been working with Puerto Rican authorities the last several weeks to improve logistics and put in place the infrastructure necessary to complete their mission in 2018, say sources close to the effort.