By Task Force Power Restoration (Puerto Rico) Public AffairsMarch 21, 2018
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's, Task Force Power Restoration along with partners Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, FEMA and industry have been working diligently to restore power to the citizens of Puerto Rico. As of today 93.40 percent of power has been restored across the Island. Work continues to achieve 95 percent restoration to the island by the end of March, here are some facts and figures about this historic power restoration endeavor.
Puerto Rico's power grid has 2,400 miles of transmission lines across the island and 30,000 miles of distribution lines with 300 sub-stations. Hurricanes Irma and Maria damaged an estimated 80 percent of the grid.
FEMA issued USACE a Mission Assignment on Sept. 30, to execute interim repairs to segments of the electrical grid to allow emergency restoration until a more comprehensive permanent restoration could be implemented.
Since the beginning of the mission assignment, over 800 USACE personnel have deployed in support of Task Force Power Restoration, and over 2500 Corps contracted line workers which contributed to the nearly 6,000 that have worked to repair the grid.
Today 2,829 workers remain fully engaged in their efforts to restore normalcy for the people of Puerto Rico through restoration of power.
To date USACE has received 46,185 poles and 3,748 miles of conductor wire. If aligned end to end, that's enough poles to cover the distance from Washington D.C. to New Haven Connecticut, and enough wire to stretch from Washington D.C. to London.
PREPA sets the priorities for restoration of their grid which is executed under the direction of the Unified Command consisting of FEMA, USACE, PREPA and the island's Power Restoration Coordinator to facilitate repairs on transmission, distribution and sub-transmission lines.
Five contingents work in concert to restore the grid and restore service to clients.
• PREPA has responsibility for the overall grid.
• Crews working for PREPA began making immediate repairs for restoration and their contractors joined later.
• USACE Task Force Power Restoration was part of the initial response with planning emergency generation and field work to make emergency repairs.
• The New York State contingent followed providing additional support in both assessment and later repairs.
• Industry joined later with their crews to compliment and increase the work force for grid restoration.
FEMA has allocated $1.953 billion to USACE to execute the Mission Assignment for power grid restoration.
PREPA reports 93.40 percent or approximately 1,368,864 of the 1.47M customers who are able to receive electric power have their service restored.
USACE has received 46,185 poles and 3,748 miles of conductor wire to date. Approximately 5,796 poles and 189 miles of conductor wire are slated to arrive in the next 14 days. Material requirements are estimated to be at 35,468,000 pieces of material for restoration.
The Unified Command Group holds their earlier assessment that the estimated time to restore electricity to 90-95% of pre-storm customers across the island will be the end of March. Achieving 95 percent restoration in areas with challenging terrain like the Bayamon, Arecibo and Caguas, will take until April and in some cases late May.
In addition to grid repair, USACE currently has 900 active generators operating in support of the temporary power mission, and has removed over 689,000 cubic yards of debris on the debris mission assignment (enough to fill up the Empire State Building more than twice), and has installed 59,446 blue roofs of the 61,000 approved. USACE will also continue to be responsible for the requisition and distribution of all power grid restoration materials.
The island of Puerto Rico is approximately the size of Connecticut, yet has more treacherous mountainous terrain than the state of West Virginia.
As we approach 95% the Unified Command is working with PREPA as they refine their plan to focus on the power restoration of the remaining 5 percent.