The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently obligated more than $238 million to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for costs related to 28 peaking generator units that provide power to critical facilities until the Costa Sur units in Peñuelas are back in service.
The units, which typically only run when there is high demand for electricity, were used after the earthquakes “to save lives and prevent further damage to properties,” the federal agency said in a statement.
The generation systems are being used to supply power to critical facilities like hospitals, police departments, fire departments, emergency centers and water facilities.
“This obligation addresses the need to maintain power generation capacity for the benefit of thousands of residents who rely on these critical services in their towns. We’ll continue to work closely with the government of Puerto Rico to ensure a successful recovery from the earthquakes,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, José Baquero.
Costa Sur in Peñuelas is the largest of four power plants on the island and provides about a quarter of the electric power throughout Puerto Rico.
The facility suffered extensive structural damage from the earthquakes in January, which resulted in compromised foundations, walls and support structures. The damage caused islandwide power outages, leaving more than 327,000 residents in the dark.
The 28 peaking units currently in use are located in Aguirre, Cambalache, Daguao, Jabos, Mayagüez, Palo Seco, Vega Baja and Yabucoa.
“We appreciate FEMA’s continued support in providing the necessary resources to mitigate damage and support critical facilities,” said the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency Executive Director Ottmar Chavez.
“We continue working together in the rebuilding of PREPA’s infrastructure not only to provide essential power, but also to save lives, strengthen public health and provide quality of life,” he said.