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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Head of PREPA retirees: Genera has caused more problems than it has solved

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Retirees Association President Johnny Rodríguez Ortiz

By The Star Staff

Although the central government is trying to keep the information under the radar and the magnitude of the problem is unknown, the arrival of Genera Puerto Rico has caused the most recent and one of the most acute crises in the island’s electricity service, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Retirees Association (AJAEE by its Spanish initials) President Johnny Rodríguez Ortiz said Monday.

“The corroborated information we have at hand specifies that, in less than 36 hours, there have been multiple load relays due to breakdowns that they did not know how to address, and they even dared to blame rain and lightning as the causes,” the AJAEE president charged.

“With several load relays, more than 100,000 subscribers per event have been affected due to breakdowns in the units Aguirre #2 (450 megawatts [mw]), Palo Seco #3 (216mw), Palo Seco #4 (216mw), Costa Sur 5 and 6 (410 mw each), while PREPA has a broken boiler (225 mw),” Rodríguez Ortiz added.

Rodríguez Ortiz said he does not understand how even with that kind of a start, the Financial Oversight and Management Board has reserved $50 million for the payment of productivity incentives for Genera Puerto Rico, while “denying money to the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to operate more than 50mw of renewable energy, owned by PREPA [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] in the Yauco I hydroelectric plants, Yauco II, Garzas I, Garzas II and Río Blanco.”

He also stressed that Unit No. 5 of Costa Sur was ready to enter service, but Genera PR “has not asked to put it into service because there is no one who knows how to reset the turbine.”

Given the failure of this misnamed “Public-Private Partnership (PPP),” Rodríguez Ortiz continued, the only great solution was “to take out of service the portal from where PREPA projected the units in service, taking into account the cost per KV [kilovolt] of each one, the load generated constantly and the units and load available to be used.”

Rodríguez Ortiz said “the failure of Genera Puerto Rico is a constant threat of a collapse of the electrical system indefinitely.”

Now that the island is entering the peak period of the hurricane season, the AJAEE president urged subscribers “to get some emergency equipment to alleviate the events to come due to the failure of Genera Puerto Rico.”

“Citizens must accept the fact that neither the [oversight board], Judge Laura Taylor Swain, nor the Legislature, nor the Governor are working for the benefit of the people,” Rodríguez Ortiz said. “No one has wanted to address the real crisis caused by the entry of LUMA Energy and Genera Puerto Rico.”

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