FEMA Obligates Over $60.2 Million for Power Grid Repairs in Six Municipalities

Release Date Release Number
NR 550
Release Date:
January 22, 2023

San Juan, Puerto Rico –The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) obligated over $60.2 million distributed among 12 subprojects for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) that include generation, transmission and distribution units in Bayamón, Caguas, Mayagüez, Ponce, San Juan and Toa Baja.

These federal funds are part of nearly $1.7 billion that were obligated to PREPA up to date for total of 87 approved subprojects for the energy grid under the FEMA’s Accelerated Awards Strategy, known as FAASt.

“At FEMA, we continue to work with PREPA and the Government of Puerto Rico to keep improvements moving forward. This obligation will benefit nearly 900,000 people living in these municipalities, who will be able to rely on an improved electrical grid, not only for their homes, but also for schools, hospitals and other facilities in the area. Some of these projects include hazard mitigation proposals to avoid similar damage in the future, such as the replacement of concrete poles with galvanized steel poles, among other measures,” said Deputy Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Andrés García.

One of the facilities that completed the proposed work with FEMA funding is the Palo Seco Power Plant in Toa Baja. With an obligation of over $53.7 million for transmission works, PREPA purchased and installed three PWPS Mobile Gas Turbines, or mega generators. These turbines will be used as a temporary power source to bypass the needs of certain transmission lines and/or generation power plants. Another obligation of over $2.6 million for generation purposes, was used to complete the replacement of a demineralized water tank and stainless-steel pipes. It included other works such as a soil study and environmental compliance tests.

According to PREPA Executive Director, Engineer Josué A. Colón Ortiz, the agency was able to complete all the necessary work and tests to put the mega-generators in Palo Seco into service.

“An additional benefit of having the mega-generators in service is that these modern units are much more efficient than the existing peaking units replaced by them, resulting in a lower cost for customers in Puerto Rico,” said Colón Ortiz, who also mentioned that “with the support of FEMA and COR3, PREPA has been able to make the necessary repairs to several generating units during the past year, which has helped stabilize the generation system in Puerto Rico.”

For works on distribution, an obligation of over $3.8 million was distributed among 10 facilities located in Bayamón, Caguas, Mayagüez, Ponce and San Juan. Included in this allocation are the repairs to distribution pole and conductor of San Juan Group 8, that includes distribution feeders Venezuela, Hato Rey, Tres Monjitas, Baldrich, Las Lomas 4 and Las Lomas 5. With an obligation of more than $483,000, existing poles and hardware were removed to install new ones with concrete foundation bases in the same location. This project captures funding of nearly $106,000 for a hazard mitigation proposal to increase the wind tolerance of all materials and replace concrete poles by galvanized steel poles.

“I thank FEMA for this million-dollar obligation, which allows us to continue fulfilling the commitment of Governor Pedro Pierluisi’s administration to renew the power generation, transmission and distribution system with modern and efficient equipment. At COR3, we support PREPA and LUMA throughout the technical process required to complete their reconstruction projects. To date, some 10 permanent works have been completed and another 113 projects valued at $415.2 million are in the construction or design stage,” said the executive director of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), Manuel A. Laboy Rivera.

To date, FEMA has obligated over $29 billion in Public Assistance funds for roughly 10,400 projects that will support the rebuilding of a more resilient Puerto Rico.

For more information about Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 y recovery.pr. Follow us on social media at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.

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Last updated January 23, 2023