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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor talks energy issues with US Rep. Grijalva

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), at left, listens to Gov. Pedro Pierluisi.


In a meeting with U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) this week, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia discussed Puerto Rico’s energy transformation and ongoing reconstruction projects with a particular focus on the energy sector.

“The congressman has been aware of the energy transformation in Puerto Rico and what FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] is doing in Puerto Rico,” Pierluisi said Monday. “He had originally asked Congress to appropriate $5 billion for this purpose and it ended up approving $1 billion.”

“They are interested in everything we have to do to have a cleaner, more reliable, more affordable, less expensive, less polluting and more resilient electrical system in Puerto Rico,” the governor added.

Pierluisi noted that there are currently 54 projects under construction related to the electrical system, with 131 more approved by FEMA.

“Basically, the amount of money that FEMA has already obligated for permanent construction projects, permanent work, in our electrical system amounts to $1.6 billion,” he said. “The amount disbursed so far is $330 million.”

The governor expects that by the end of this year there will be obligated projects in the electrical system for an amount of $4 billion.

“This already has momentum that no one can stop,” Pierluisi said.

Among the projects highlighted during the meeting were the construction of a new energy management system, improvements in substations and the creation of a microgrid to cover all the needs of Vieques and Culebra, and the Medical Center in Río Piedras.

Regarding advances in renewable energy, Pierluisi said: “Right now we have 80,000 solar systems installed; they generate about 500 megawatts of energy.”

“And what we’re seeing is that from month to month that’s increasing by 3,000 systems,” he said.

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