Powering Puerto Rico: Mutual Aid Continues

Jan. 17, 2018
Utilities from all over mainland United States are sending equipment and personnel to Puerto Rico.

If you have been on social media, lately, you have likely seen the images of armies of bucket trucks loaded onto barges and heading to Puerto Rico. You could call it "reinforcements," although utilities from the mainland are doing more than reinforcing the efforts. They are doing a lion's share of the work to bring Puerto Rico's power grid back.

Utilities from all over mainland United States are sending equipment and personnel to Puerto Rico. The Edison Electric Institute reported in late December that nearly 1500 additional restoration workers and support personnel were deploying to Puerto Rico in early January. These new personnel will work under the direction of the seven incident management teams (IMTs) that were deployed to Puerto Rico on Dec. 10 to support the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s regional directors. 

Working with PREPA, FEMA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the IMTs are focused on completing a full damage assessment of Puerto Rico’s energy grid to develop an updated and more closely coordinated restoration plan. With this new wave, the total number of power restoration workers will increase to more than 5,500. This includes the resources already working on the island from PREPA’s own crews, a contingent of crews from New York who are working as part of an intergovernmental agreement, and crews mobilized under USACE contracts.

The IMTs also have identified new lodging and basecamps for crews and staging sites for materials that will allow for workers and materials to be located closer to where the work needs to be done.

Following are images that EEI and various utilities have shared on social media and company sites to document the work being done to "power PR."

About the Author

Nikki Chandler | Group Editorial Director, Energy

Nikki has 28 years of experience as an award-winning business-to-business editor, with 23 years of it covering the electric utility industry. She started out as an editorial intern with T&D World while finishing her degree, then joined Mobile Radio Technology and RF Design magazines. She returned to T&D World as an online editor in 2002 and now leads the content for EnergyTech, Microgrid Knowledge and T&D World media brands and supports Endeavor’s energy events, Microgrid Knowledge and T&D World Live. She has contributed to several publications over the past 25 years, including Waste Age, Wireless Review, Power Electronics Technology, and Arkansas Times. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas.

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