• The San Juan Daily Star

LUMA Energy, co-op ally to step up grid repair

Fundador Rosario Cortés, president of ELECTRICOOP

By The Star Staff

LUMA Energy, the private operator of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution (T&D) system, has reached an agreement with the ELECTRICOOP cooperative that LUMA described as unprecedented in an announcement Monday.

LUMA Energy said that as part of its commitment to transform Puerto Rico’s electrical T&D system, the agreement will ensure that more than 100 ELECTRICOOP employees work with LUMA employees to stabilize and restore the island power grid.

For the past few weeks, PREPA customers have endured repeated outages, which have been attributed to various causes including relays as well as drops in power generation. PREPA last week declared a state of emergency to hasten repairs at power plants.

“The working partnership that is formalized today between LUMA and ELECTRICOOP will contribute to the work already underway by LUMA in the stabilization and restoration of the energy transmission and distribution system, faithful to our mission of providing a resilient, reliable and affordable system as Puerto Rico deserves,” LUMA Energy External Affairs Adviser José Pérez Vélez said. “This alliance will be part of the hard work that LUMA, together with thousands of Puerto Ricans, carries out on a daily basis to offer efficient and safe service to all of our clients.”

Fundador Rosario, president of ELECTRICOOP, noted that it was very important to say that the co-op had previously approached PREPA to take into consideration the work the co-op did “because we were in the best position to be an important part of the restoration of our electrical system after Hurricane Maria, which was when against all odds we created ELECTRICOOP.”

“But, although they saw it as a good and feasible idea, they did not give us the opportunity and we did not have the political influence to achieve it,” he said. “When we made the presentation to LUMA, attorney Pérez Vélez let us know that it was the best presentation they had ever seen and that they would take the hiring of ELECTRICOOP very seriously and that’s how it was.”

Rosario added that “this is a great victory for the cooperative movement of Puerto Rico and for all of us who live on the island, because we are going to be part of achieving a reliable electricity transmission system because we live in this land that we love so much.”

ELECTRICOOP is part of the League of Cooperatives of Puerto Rico.

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