March 4, 2021

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They restore electrical service to more than 60,000 PREPA clients

The number of clients of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) without service began to drop after the stabilization of one of the power transmission lines and the departure of the brigades to the streets to attend to the breakdowns registered with the passage close to tropical storm Isaías.

At about 3:00 pm Some 453,000 customers were without service. That amount was reduced two hours later to 391,000, said Fernando Padilla, director of project management and restoration of the public corporation.

"We already have the brigades on the streets and we are feeding loads to the substations to bring the customer service. I would say that in the next three or four hours we are going to see a significant number of clients entering the system, "said Padilla.

The official indicated that in this initial phase they are concentrating on electrifying the hospitals, airports and infrastructure that emergency estimate. At the moment, PREPA will not be able to carry out air patrols to verify the damage that occurred in the transmission system. The intention is that pilots and technical personnel are carrying out these inspections early tomorrow.

Padilla indicated that most of the breakdowns in the distribution system that have been reported are due to poles, cables or wire on the ground .

"It is something that can be managed with our group," said Padilla. However, he indicated that they would be activating the agency's private contractors to speed up the client reconnection work.

At the peak of the emergency, PREPA had 30% of those connected to the public corporation without service.

Problems manifested at different levels. However, what complicated the picture was that several transmission lines, which move large amounts of energy between regions, went out of service in the midst of the emergency. The main affected areas were those of Caguas, Ponce, Mayagüez and the San Juan metropolitan area.

This situation made it difficult to transmit energy from the south to the north. However, in the early afternoon, public corporation personnel were able to put into operation one of the main lines connecting the Aguirre area in Salinas to the Cambalache area in Arecibo, crossing through areas close to the San Juan metropolitan area, said Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, president of the Union of Workers in the Electricity and Irrigation Industry (UTIER). This helped stabilize the system and gradually increase the generation and, with it, the electrified areas.

Padilla urged people to report the faults they detect through the social networks of the public corporation or by calling ( 787) 521-3434.

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