Guaynabo, Puerto Rico – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) allocated over $786 million to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to replace nearly 1.5 million meters damaged by Hurricane María. These will have Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a two-way communications technology that collects detailed metering information for all of PREPA’s service areas.
AMI will improve the operation of the electric system, as well as the metrics and situational awareness of the Authority and customers to address security issues and irregular situations during future atmospheric events. The smart meters will also allow real-time reading so that customers can be aware of voltage quality.
“The funds are part of the allocations under FEMA’s Accelerated Awards Strategy (FAASt) for the Authority. These meters will provide greater transparency to customers about the service they receive. The infrastructure will also help the government meet its energy public policy goals, according to federal and local statutes,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator José G. Baquero.
The FEMA-approved project establishes that there will be a better detection of energy service interruptions, as well as a more accurate estimate of outage periods for affected customers. In addition, the smart meters will provide information to identify faults with hot sockets or fallen wires, for example, to dispatch assistance equipment, if necessary.
Furthermore, AMI technology will facilitate the integration of microgrid networks to restore power using alternate energy resources. By identifying service capacity in challenging areas, interconnection points can be provided for a better distribution of resources and thus reduce interruptions created by energy demand.
To date, FEMA has allocated nearly $31.6 billion for nearly 10,900 projects to address Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane María. In September 2020, FEMA obligated nearly $9.5 billion to PREPA through the FAASt program for the repair of its energy infrastructure.
To date, FEMA has awarded over $1.2 billion for about 1,100 permanent construction projects in private, nonprofit facilities throughout Puerto Rico, including long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
For more information about Puerto Rico’s recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339, fema.gov/disaster/4473 and recovery.pr. Follow us on our social media at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.