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More than two-thirds of LUMA Energy’s customers were still without electricity yesterday, but with the promise – both from the government and from the consortium itself – that “a large part” will recover service on Wednesday, three days after the scourge of Hurricane Fiona .
In the case of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), the management was more cautious and did not give an estimate of restoration, since everything will depend on the electricity continuing to recover at the island level, the rivers lowering their level and the turbidity in intakes of raw water and filter plants decrease.
At 5:00 pm on Tuesday, just 297,413 o 20.26% of LUMA subscribers had electricity, while 570,411 o 45.11% of AAA subscribers had water.
Electricity generation was at 514 megawatts, according to the official site Puerto Rico Emergency Portal System (PREPS). However, Daniel Hernández, director of Renewable Projects at LUMA, raised the figure to 719, considering 520 megawatts between the San Juan and Palo Seco plants, 79 in Cambalache and 120 in Mayagüez.
According to Hernández, LUMA and the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) would work together to “enter the system”, between last night and this morning, another unit in Cambalache and unit #5 in San Juan, adding 180 megawatts and “thousands of customers”.
For this afternoon and evening, he added, “the plan” contemplates joining the Aguirre combined cycle and the AES Puerto Rico cogenerator to the electrical network, for a total of 550 additional megawatts.
Later, Costa Sur and the EcoEléctrica cogenerator would be added. Earlier yesterday, the director of External Security of LUMA, Abner Gómez, indicated that the activation of these units would depend on aerial patrolling and inspection of damage to several transmission lines of 115,000 and 250,000 volts, which are the ones that take electricity of the centrals.
“Once it is certified that there is no damage, we will tell the Authority to start entering the (generation) machines. When they come into service, we are going to have many more customers energized… progressively and responsibly. We are trying not to push things too much so as not to affect generation and take a step back, but a large part of Puerto Rico will be energized between today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday)”, Gómez said, echoed by Governor Pedro Pierluisi.
“My expectation is that between today (yesterday) and tomorrow (today), at the latest by the end of tomorrow (today), a large part of our population will have electricity service,” Pierluisi said.
LUMA anticipated that, in the southern, southwestern and central areas, which were the most devastated by Fiona, the restoration of light will take “a little longer.”
For her part, the executive president of the AAA, Doriel Pagán, pointed out that the recovery time of the water service “It will depend on the complexity of each system”, in reference to the raw water intakes, filter plants and wells affected by the hurricane.
“We are attending to each situation and production will increase progressively and gradually”he exposed.
Regarding the Sergio Cuevas plant, which is fed by the Carraízo reservoir, he predicted that it would operate at maximum capacity from last night, while the Enrique Ortega plant, which is fed by La Plata, would be at 75%. At 5:00 pm, the Superacueducto was operating at 50% and the expectation was that it would increase to 75%.
If these goals are met, said Pagán, the service in the metro area and surrounding towns “would improve substantially.”
To mitigate the lack of water, PRASA activated oases throughout the island, and Pagán urged citizens to check their location on the social networks of the public corporation, as it will change daily.
Lastly, he mentioned that yesterday they had 250 electric generators operating in filter and sanitary sewer plants, “benefiting” more than 150,000 clients.