The United States has sent three gigantic generators of electricity to Puerto Rico to help stabilize the deteriorating electrical network of the United States territory and to minimize the continuous blackoutsthe island’s governor announced on Friday.
The plants will add 150 megawatts of power and additional generators the United States is expected to send soon will supply another 250 megawatts, Governor Pedro Pierluisi said.
The authorities indicated that the generators they will be installed before the start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1.
“This is the first step in a very, very complex process,” said Nancy Casper, coordinator of the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMAfor its acronym in English).
FEMA is paying for 90% of the project and the Puerto Rican government the remaining 10% as part of an agreement reached last year, but both Casper and Pierluisi said the full cost is still unknown because it will depend in part on how long they will operate. the generators.
Puerto Rico recently began permanent repairs to an aging electrical network that was devastated by Maria, a category 4 hurricane that hit the island in September 2017. Since then, blackouts they have become commonplace, disrupting daily life on the island of 3.2 million people.
The federal government has allocated about $12 billion — mostly for rebuilding the grid — but only 18 permanent projects totaling $88 million have been completed as of early March, according to the research institute. non-governmental Center for a New Economy.
“At this rate, it will take more than 100 years to complete the reconstruction of the electrical network Puerto Rico,” the center said in an analysis published Thursday.
The electrical network it was further weakened by Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 storm that hit the southwestern region of Puerto Rico in September 2022. It caused an island-wide blackout and caused more than $3 billion in damage to the collapsed electrical system.
“Temporary generation is critical,” Casper said of the new generators.
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