The hurricane fiona caused a general blackout this afternoon, leaving 1.5 million subscribers without electricity, he confirmed to The new day the executive director of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA), Joshua Columbus.
Minutes later, the governor Pedro Pierluisi He verified the information on his Facebook account.
“LUMA Energy and the Electric Power Authority report that, due to the effect of the hurricane, the electrical system is currently out of service. The protocols have been activated according to the plans established to deal with this situation. Both LUMA and PREPA personnel are active and ready to respond to the situation once conditions allow it”Pierluisi said.
The blackout occurred shortly after 1:00 pm, Colón said, detailing that PREPA “is starting up” several rapid response generation units (“black-start”) to reenergize the network as soon as possible.
“The (transmission) lines went out (of service) and the entire system was turned off,” he said, referring to the 115,000 and 230,000-volt lines that take electricity from the generating plants. These lines can go out of service as a result of rain or contact with vegetation due to wind, among other reasons.
“We are already starting up Palo Seco with ‘black-start’ units. We are with the start of the north… Palo Seco and San Juan. There is already a unit turned on in Palo Seco”, he added, explaining that, as there are no transmission lines available, the plants shut down to protect themselves. In other words, the blackout is not due to a lack of generation.
According to Colón, when the blackout occurred, the energy demand was barely 500 megawatts, indicating that “many customers were already out” of service.
“We are going to start energizing from the north. We are in coordination with the Energy Control Center (operated by LUMA Energy). We are turning on now,” he said.
At the time of publishing this note, LUMA did not respond to a request for information from The new day.