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Puerto Rico again in blackout after repaired power line fails

  • 2 years ago (2017-11-10)
  • David Flin
North America 820 Transmission 86

A major outage in Puerto Rico has plunged more than 80 per cent of the island back into darkness. A transmission line that had been repaired by Whitefish Energy, a contractor from Montana, USA, failed.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) reported that power generation capacity across the island fell from 40 per cent to 18 per cent, a major blow to the island’s difficult recovery after the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria.

As a result, a large majority of the island’s 3.4 million residents are again without power, extending what was already the longest power outage in US history. The blackout struck the northern part of the island, including parts of the capital, San Juan.

There had been difficulties with the electric grid network of Puerto Rico prior to Hurricane Maria, and reconstruction of the grid has faced a number of difficulties. The largest repair contract, valued at $300 million, was awarded to Whitefish Energy, a firm formed in 2015. The line that failed had been repaired by Whitefish Energy. A spokesman for Whitefish Energy said that the company was not responsible for the blackout. He said: “None of the issues reported with the issues have anything to do with the repairs Whitefish Energy performed.”