Puerto Rico Power Restoration Efforts Advance

September 21, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
September 21, 2022

Nearly 300,000 customers in Puerto Rico have had their power restored in the wake of Hurricane Fiona as of the afternoon of Sept. 20, with continuing efforts to reenergize the grid and restore power as quickly and safely as possible, LUMA Energy reported.

Damage assessment, restoration and reenergization efforts by LUMA and its partners continued across Puerto Rico following the severe impacts of Hurricane Fiona.

LUMA said it has fully deployed a field response crew of over 2,000 utility field workers who are working in difficult conditions to repair the grid and restore power across Puerto Rico as quickly and safely as possible, including additional utility field workers provided by Quanta.

All emergency response efforts are being coordinated through the LUMA Emergency Operations Center (LEOC) and includes close consultation with the Government of Puerto Rico, Municipalities, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau (PREMB), Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the U.S. Department of Energy Support Function #12 and other government agencies to coordinate a unified response.

Among the LUMA crews mobilized and responding to the impact of Hurricane Fiona include:

  • Trouble & Operations: 151 crews
    • Construction & Maintenance: 69 crews
    • Transmission Lines: 9 crews
    • Substation and Commissioning Crews: 22 crews
    • Low Voltage: 309 crews
    • Vegetation: 102 crews
    • Aviation: 5 helicopter crews
    • Damage Assessment: 85 crews

The Department of Energy (DOE) reported that as of 1:00 PM EDT Sept. 20, Puerto Rico had approximately 1.18 million outages (80% of customers).

On the afternoon of September 18, Puerto Rico experienced an island-wide power outage due to impacts to distribution and transmission damage from Hurricane Fiona, which caused a system imbalance that tripped generation units offline.

Following the island-wide outage, PREPA, in coordination with the transmission and distribution operator LUMA, began procedures to restart generation and restore customers.