Pierluisi to meet ‘soon’ with new LUMA Energy chief
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia said Thursday he will meetC soon with LUMA Energy’s new president, Juan Saca, with the aim of discussing Saca’s ability to lead the energy consortium that operates the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system.
“The important thing is his managerial experience, his ability to communicate well and clearly on what the entity is doing and lead it,” Pierluisi said in reference to Saca.
The governor said that during the meeting he will make a series of recommendations to Saca, and hopes that they will be taken into account.
“The important thing here is that the reconstruction and transformation of our energy system continues,” he said. “Without delay and with the greatest effectiveness. That’s what’s in Puerto Rico’s interest.”
Meanwhile, La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Noelia García Bardales confirmed Thursday that La Fortaleza had a hand in the exit of former LUMA Energy President & CEO Wayne Stensby, communicating with LUMA executives during the transition process.
“We had been monitoring for some months and have been in constant contact with LUMA management about the changes they are pursuing,” García Bardales said in a radio interview. “Even in the process of interviews of the candidates … who went through that consideration, and we are pleased with the professional who they are integrating into the team. He is a professional with experience in critical infrastructure that is extremely important, both energy and water as well as communications, which are an essential part of the quality of life of Puerto Ricans. And to bring a person with experience in this type of infrastructure and in multinational operations in a company like the one he comes from, it gives us hope.”
Pierluisi said he had been sending a message about the need for new leadership at LUMA Energy for a long time. However, he said, finding the right person was not an easy task, given the great responsibility involved in running the company.
In response to questions from the press about the constant interruptions of electrical service and high demand due to the recent heat wave, Pierluisi pointed out that the number of affected customers is only 1.1% of the total. However, he acknowledged that communication with the public must improve.
“Well, … of course, always the one who loses the service, either for a repair or … reconstruction, is going to be uncomfortable because everyone wants the service, but the rest of the population, what they want is that the network be rebuilt, “ the governor stressed.
In relation to the high demand for energy during the hot season, Pierluisi welcomed the additional generation that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is contributing.
“I asked for it and FEMA has given it to us,” he said. “Now, approximately 200 megawatts more are coming -- we already have 150 additional megawatts -- 200 more are coming in a matter of a couple of months. And I’m demanding even more.”