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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

LUMA official: Power grid is fragile but ready for hurricane season

LUMA Energy Vice President of Strategic Affairs Kevin Acevedo

By The Star Staff

The vice president of the LUMA Energy consortium, Kevin Acevedo, assured the public at a press conference Thursday that the island’s power grid is prepared for the next hurricane season but that the system remains fragile.

“Are we prepared for hurricanes? The answer is yes, we are prepared,” Acevedo said. “Yes, the system is fragile, no one is going to deny it, but we are prepared. We are doing tree cutting under an aggressive vegetation program. We have new machines that were brought to the island to do that.”

“We understand that we live on an island and that we are subject to those [extreme weather] events,” Acevedo added. “The power is going to go out in those events, that is clear, because of the wind.”

The LUMA official made his remarks following an islandwide power outage Wednesday night that caused schools and all government operations to be shut down Thursday.

He said the blackout, which reportedly left more than a million subscribers in the dark, would not have a “significant” impact on the electricity bill.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Executive Director Josué Colón said at a press conference that the use of a black-start generation unit should not have any impact on a possible rise in the cost per kilowatt-hour.

At press time, power had been restored only in some parts of the island. The power outage was caused by a malfunction and fire at the Costa Sur power plant that triggered the shutdown of all generation units.

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