LUMA Energy
667c9b4e329525f8db8e2186 Image 9 1

LUMA Launches Clearing Phase of Island-Wide Work Plan

June 26, 2024
The utility began its strategic clearing work as part of a safety and reliability initiative to address the leading cause of outages in Puerto Rico.

Listen to the Line Life Podcast on Podbean
To learn more about LUMA's island-wide work plan, listen to a narrated version of the April 2024 cover story in T&D World's In Case You Missed It series for the Line Life Podcast on Podbean at The podcast also featured a two-part interview series with Dr. Shay Bahamarid of LUMA Energy. 

As part of an island-wide effort to address the largest contributor to service interruptions, LUMA is announcing the launch of the clearing phase of its FEMA-funded Vegetation Safety and Reliability Initiative. During this phase, qualified vegetation contractors with the resources, expertise and training to execute this island-wide initiative will perform strategic clearing of vegetation across 16,000 miles of powerlines and electric equipment. LUMA expects this initative will result in customers experiencing up to 45% fewer outages once all work is complete.  
Importance of FEMA-Funded Vegetation Initiative 
Overgrown vegetation is the leading cause of outages across Puerto Rico, most recently causing widespread outages in Caguas and San Juan where LUMA crews worked overnight to restore power to about 350,000 impacted customers. LUMA’s analysis of vegetation-caused outages, and its significant impact on communities across Puerto Rico, resulted in the development of this historic island-wide vegetation clearing initiative. Over the coming months and years of this clearing phase, the program will require that the areas underneath and around electrical lines, utility poles and other equipment be clear of trees and vegetation.  
“As we saw once again, vegetation is a major issue that must be addressed. LUMA is absolutely determined to reduce service interruptions, and this historic and FEMA-funded initiative is critical in doing so. LUMA estimates that we expect customers will experience up to 45% fewer outages once all work is complete,” said Juan Saca, LUMA president and CEO. “The teams of contractors selected have the resources, skills, training and experience to conduct this important work, and achieve what our customers want – a more reliable grid with fewer outages.”  
This initiative is expected to use more than 2,000 workers over the three-year period, resulting in a near $2 billion investment benefit in Puerto Rico’s economy.  
P3A and COR3 Approved Selection Process 
The Vegetation Safety and Reliability Initiative contractors were evaluated through a rigorous procurement process and approved by the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority (P3A) and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3). Contractors were selected and have been awarded contracts based on their qualifications, experience, skills, costs, project-specific criteria and their ability to operate and execute this work in the best interests of LUMA’s customers. LUMA contractors are required to follow all laws and regulations.  
In addition, the contractors selected were thoroughly vetted and evaluated through a competitive process that included an open Request for Proposals (RFP), and were determined to have the resources, skills, training and experience to conduct vegetation work that will serve every community of Puerto Rico. Throughout this program, contractors will be required to follow all environmental laws, as well as public safety standards and environmental protections. The qualified contractors selected for this initiative, who will also be using local assets and resources, include: 
  • Asplundh Tree Experts 
  • CERES Environmental Services 
  • Wright Tree Service of Puerto Rico 
  • Xpert’s 
The four contractors selected are also internationally recognized as leaders in vegetation management and have extensive utility experience providing vegetation clearance services in Puerto Rico and across the United States. As part of LUMA’s overall vegetation management efforts that extend beyond this initiative, LUMA uses local and mainland vegetation contractors to conduct daily maintenance work all across the island.  
LUMA’s 2024 Vegetation Management Plan 
As part of its commitment to address vegetation-caused outages, LUMA also recently filed its 2024 Vegetation Management Plan with the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB), which details the scope of its planning and implementation to maintain vegetation at a safe distance from power lines, in line with industry best practices, while continuing to follow all environmental laws and regulations. The 2024 Vegetation Management Plan outlines the following: 
  • LUMA’s continued commitment to addressing vegetation daily to improve service reliability for its customers. 
  • LUMA’s commitment to prioritizing environmental stewardship to protect Puerto Rico’s unique and diverse environment and natural habitats by working with trained environmental experts and certified arborists to conduct detailed assessments. 
  • How LUMA will continue to comply with all applicable local and federal laws and regulations, including strict processes established by FEMA, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
  • LUMA's coordination with mayors, municipalities and key stakeholders to complete this important vegetation work. 
To learn more about the work LUMA is doing across the island to improve the quality of service for its customers, visit  

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!