SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (Prepa) executive director, José Ortiz, resigned Monday amid the granting of controversial contracts to operate the troubled public utility's transmission and distribution system (T&D) and convert utility generators to run on natural gas.
The Prepa executive director defended the contracts during a recent US House Committee on Natural Resources hearing, saying they are vital to ensure the modernization of the island’s power grid.
However, the president of the public utility's largest union and a member of a community group advocating solar-powered energy denounced the privatization of Prepa operations as a giveaway to private companies that will not ensure the meeting of renewable goals and will lead to higher electricity rates.
A report released last month by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) argued that the contract process was plagued by irregularities that provided unfair advantage to New Fortress, which had limited experience in Puerto Rico.  (File)