CEO: LUMA’s performance ‘effective’ so far despite challenges

By The Star Staff

A month after LUMA Energy took over the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system, company president & CEO Wayne Stensby said Thursday that the firm has been “effective” in its performance despite multiple power outages and a fire at the Monacillos power substation that left some 700,000 subscribers in the dark.

At an online news conference, Stensby said LUMA Energy has operated effectively despite numerous challenges, including those coming from external forces that have harassed LUMA workers.

Despite reports ruling out the intervention of criminal elements in the Monacillos fire, Stensby said the investigation is continuing because the firm wants to understand what truly happened.

Earlier this week, Public Safety (DSP) Secretary Alexis Torres announced that after receiving reports from the offices of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and the Firefighters Bureau, they have ruled out foul play as the cause of the incident at the Río Piedras substation. An initial report on June 17 also ruled out criminal intent.

The DSP report blamed lack of maintenance for the Monacillos fire.

“There are still two to three weeks left for it to be completed,” Stensby said of the investigation into the incident.

Stensby also said the Monacillos substation is in a state of disrepair and there are plans to move the facility to an unknown location and to overhaul it using federal funds. The federal government has allocated over $10 billion to help overhaul the island’s power system.

Stensby also said LUMA has 2,500 employees and continues to recruit workers. He said the private operator brought linemen from its parent companies to temporarily work on the island.

In its first month of operation, LUMA answered 544,000 calls, handled concerns from 183,000 people through its customer service and posted 900 notifications on its social media networks to communicate with customers.

Some 250,000 subscribers, out of over a million, downloaded the “MiLuma” application and 400,000 registered on its website.

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