By Robert DeDeauxFebruary 2, 2018
ARECIBO, Puerto Rico - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Task Force Power Restoration, has installed its eighth micro grid in Puerto Rico Feb. 1 with a ninth recently being approved by FEMA. The micro grids continue to bring temporary power to critical infrastructure and to the people of PR while the existing systems are being repaired.
"The importance of the microgrids is to safely and quickly restore power to the people." said TF Power Restoration Plans and Operations Officer Cpt. George T. Wiley II.
The micro grids are currently generating power in Lares, Naguabo, Patillas, Villalba, Yabucoa, Maunuabo, Culebra. Arecibo is installed and testing began Feb. 1. Full commissioning is expected when the desired load is achieved and the most customers are reached within the limits of the equipment. Approximately 200 meters are with power and the number will continue to grow as PREPA and USACE continue to work on the distribution system in the area. Humacao is scheduled for future installation after funding was approved by FEMA.
Potentially more than 20,000 households and infrastructure will be powered by the micro grids when all nine are operational. Currently, more than 17,000 households and infrastructure are powered by the micro grids. While micro grids can provide relief until permanent power is restored, it is important to know they aren't designed to provide full power.
Task Force Restoration recently invited Charles "Tom" Decker from the U.S. Army Research and Development Center's Construction Engineering Research Laboratory to evaluate the current process with recommendations for improving sustainability, efficiency, and cost effectiveness through automation and power cell implantation.