The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved this Sunday an item of nearly 600 million dollars to promote the rebuilding Puerto Rico’s battered electrical grid.
The multimillion-dollar federal contribution will allow an advance purchase of materials, so that the resources are available at the beginning of the reconstruction works, according to the FEMA statement.
The announcement comes at the start of the hurricane season, which began on June 1, and after last April a fire at a power plant caused a general blackout throughout the island that lasted several days.
The federal disaster recovery coordinator, José G. Baquero, explained that the island’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has already submitted to the agency an initial list of materials and equipment that are currently in short supply and that usually have a long shelf life. delivery term.
“This is an extensive requirement that includes transmission and distribution areas, substations and telecommunications. The goal is to obtain materials in time for work to start,” Baquero said.
Among the materials included in this project are about 2,500 miles of transmission lines, about 23 miles of submarine cable for the municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, 300 substations, about 200,000 transformers and about 13,400 miles of feeders.
The executive director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, assured that “the purchase of the equipment under this significant obligation will allow the agile development of other projects.”
These funds join other 18 projects to restore the power grid for a sum of about 700 million dollars.
FEMA has approved some 12.8 billion dollars to PREPA for emergency and permanent work to address the damage caused on the island by the Hurricane Maria in 2017 and for the earthquakes of 2020.
This year marks five years of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and destroyed your network electricity, leaving many areas without power for months.
Since then, the fragility of the electricity network has been a source of concern and discontent for the population, fed up with the usual power outages and fearful of new big blackouts during this hurricane season.