Twenty-four days after Hurricane Maria, Governor Ricardo Rosselló promised to energize 95% of the island before Christmas, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the disbursement of $ 128 million for the reconstruction and hiring of brigades at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
"We are talking about that before Christmas, here in Puerto Rico, we will have 95% of the energy activated ... but do not forget that part of our effort as a government is to ensure that we can have a new energy model. That is why we are collaborating with different areas of the private sector, "he told at a press conference.
For the first time since the cyclone, the governor presented a calendar for the restoration of the electrical system, which yesterday produced only 14.6% of its total electricity capacity.
"Our goal as government is to provide Puerto Ricans access to electric power as soon as possible but, at the same time, without sacrificing what may be the opportunity to have an electrical system that is capable, modern and more effective for the people of Puerto Rico, "said Rosselló Nevares.
Flanked by PREPA Executive Director Ricardo Ramos, FEMA Director for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Alejandro de la Campa, Engineer José Sánchez and Secretary of Public Security, Hector Pesquera, the governor informed that, as of October 30, the public corporation will generate 30% of electricity, 50% by November 15, 80% by December 1 and 95% by the 15th of the last month of the year. He acknowledged that even after achieving 95% some areas would be lagging behind.
These figures do not include the number of people with service. PREPA has 1,480,000 customers.
Ramos explained that the metric was changed because during the emergency, PREPA focused its system on giving priority to essential services, such as hospitals. This change impedes knowing the number of customers with electric service.
"We do not have that database. Soon, we will reconfigure the way configurations were made during the emergency, which are not the same connections that we have in normal cases and we will change the statistics from generation to number of customers, "he said.
"Probably 14% of the generation could be 9% of customers, but they can really prove me wrong tomorrow," he added on the issue of how many people had electricity yesterday.
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