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Op-Ed: Our commitment to you

At LUMA, our team of more than 4,500 employees works daily to improve the service we provide to our customers and to build a better energy future for Puerto Rico. We are focused on continuing to improve system reliability to provide more efficient and resilient electric service to our customers.

Improving reliability means meeting our challenges with efficient solutions, such as working with the fact that vegetation is one of the main causes of more than half of the service interruptions in Puerto Rico. That’s why we’re partnering with FEMA through our $1.2 billion islandwide Vegetation Clearing Initiative to expedite the clearing of hazardous vegetation from more than 16,000 miles of power lines over the next three years. How much will this impact your electric service? We estimate that urban and rural areas on the island will experience a 35-45% reduction in disruptions once this work is completed.

Author Juan Saca is LUMA Energy’s chief executive officer.

To mitigate the impact of outages, we are also implementing innovative solutions such as automated devices. These smart appliances minimize the impact and duration of service interruptions. To date, we have installed 3,500 automated devices in critical infrastructure and we plan to install 1,500 more by July. What has been the impact of these devices? From October to December 2023, this technology has saved customers approximately 25 million minutes in service interruptions. 

We are also modernizing our infrastructure on the grid, modernizing substations throughout the island. These are crucial and connect community distribution lines to the transmission grid in Puerto Rico. Through our FEMA-funded Substation Modernization Initiative, we are making improvements to 16 substations, with some work already completed and others in process. In addition, we have plans to work on 50 substations and build six more to improve system resilience. 

On the other hand, since we launched our Community Street Lighting Initiative, we have reached the milestone of modernizing 100,000 luminaires throughout the island in its first phase. This project, which has a historic allocation of $1 billion from FEMA to replace old luminaires in LUMA’s inventory with more efficient, durable and brighter lights, aims to impact all 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico in its first phase during 2024. This initiative will optimize energy safety and efficiency in communities across Puerto Rico in the coming months and years. 

Looking ahead, we remain committed to reducing the number of outages, improving the electric grid, making progress every day, being transparent about the challenges we face and building a better energy future for all the customers and communities we are privileged to serve.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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