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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Regulator approves LUMA request to spend $180 million on underground transmission line resiliency


LUMA Energy stated that the proposed project aims to repair and harden key elements of the underground transmission system whose potential failures would endanger the reliability and resiliency of the system.

By The Star Staff


The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) has approved LUMA Energy’s request to spend $180 million on enhancing resiliency of underground transmission lines.


On March 26, 2021, the PREB ordered the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to provide certain information related to the different projects under the categories of Transmission Line Projects, Transmission Substation Projects and Distribution Substation Projects in the PREPA 10-Year Infrastructure Plan. It also sought a list of projects to be funded with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds or any other federal funds.


On June 28, LUMA filed a document titled “Informative Motion,” which included another document titled “Funding Opportunities,” which contains a brief description of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and a LUMA proposal with the description of the project titled “Underground Transmission Hardening for Enhanced Resilience.” Following certain requests, LUMA filed another motion in July.


LUMA stated that the proposed project aims to repair and harden key elements of the underground transmission system whose potential failures would endanger the reliability and resiliency of the system. The project seeks to replace broken equipment, the deployment of advance sensors, control capabilities, and communications systems to allow for improved performance, to give support to effective black-start processes and to increase the capacity of the system to integrate renewable generation.


The project’s proposed approach will be in four phases and the project timeline is to be completed by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2028.


The first phase would be an assessment of the underground transmission lines and training of the project team (9-12 months). The second is the rebuilding of the two key transmission lines (2-3 years). The third is the installation of sensors and monitoring equipment, and the fourth is the evaluation of data.

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