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FEMA doesn't know how much it will cost to stabilize the grid

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    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not have an estimate of the cost of putting the power grid stabilization plan into effect, and emphasized that the figure will be known as purchases and contracts are formalized.

    To stabilize the island's electrical system, FEMA, together with the Puerto Rico government and several federal agencies, will place three barge generators and seven land-based generation units. The idea is to inject close to 700 megawatts into the power grid while Electric Power Authority (Prepa) stations and substations are being repaired. In parallel, power grid modernization projects will continue with the $9.5 billion that FEMA already allocated to Puerto Rico after the scourge of Hurricane Maria.

    "FEMA assigned missions for the execution of the Electric System Stabilization Plan to the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This is expected to include the assignment of tasks to the USACE for the acquisition, operations and maintenance of the temporary generation units, as well as other resources to meet the emerging requirements necessary to stabilize the electric system," FEMA told El Nuevo Día in written statements. "The number of units, rental costs, fuel costs, chosen suppliers and other supporting factors will be finalized as procurement actions are executed through established federal processes," it added.

    FEMA will reportedly cover 90% of the costs, and the remaining 10% will be covered by the Puerto Rico government. Governor Pedro Pierluisi asked the Fiscal Oversight Board to allow him to use the money from the Emergency Fund. Although he has not yet received a response, the chief executive has anticipated that he should not face any problems for such authorization.

    "The financing of these units will be supported through direct federal assistance, under FEMA's Public Assistance Program, and subject to the cost-sharing contribution applicable to the government of Puerto Rico. Once the selection of locations is finalized and the temporary offshore and onshore generating units are identified, the necessary equipment will be ordered and the work required to prepare the selected sites to connect the temporary generating units to Puerto Rico's electrical system will begin," the federal agency added.

    It has been a little more than two weeks since Pierluisi and FEMA Coordinator Nancy Casper announced the plan to provide stability to the electrical system.


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