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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PREPA gets $53.5 million reimbursement for turbines


The Palo Seco thermal power plant in Toa Baja


By THE STAR STAFF


The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) received $53.5 million in reimbursement from the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3) for the purchase and installation of three “aero-derivative combustion turbines,” better known as mega generators, at the Palo Seco thermal power plant in Toa Baja, COR3 Executive Director Manuel A. Laboy Rivera said Sunday.


“This multi-million-dollar disbursement comes after the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] concluded a series of tests and issued a validation of environmental compliance,” Laboy Rivera said. “This evidence was required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] to continue with the reimbursement process. The three mega generators contribute to stabilizing energy loads to avoid mass interruptions of electricity service.”


The notification by the EPA that the request for modification of the environmental permits for the use of the equipment was complete was issued on Nov. 10, 2022, and on the Nov. 23, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources announced that the protective cover was approved under the Title V permit of the Palo Seco Power Plant that allows the turbines to operate. The three mega generators can generate 81 megawatts and also have the capacity to operate on natural gas.


“Thanks to the collaboration and work of the employees of the Electric Power Authority, together with FEMA and COR3, the Authority was able to rescue and complete all the pending and necessary work and tests to commission the three mega generators at Palo Seco,” PREPA Executive Director Josué Colón Ortiz said. “These generation units are used as a source of energy during periods of high energy demand, as well as to start and stabilize the system when atmospheric disturbances occur.”


Mega generators are also used as alternate energy sources while repairs are being carried out at power plants, among other functions.

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