Since last Friday, LUMA Energy, in charge of the transmission and distribution of energy on the island, has registered thousands of subscribers with service interruptions.
On Friday, for example, more than 21,000 subscribers were reported without service, on Saturday 17,000, on Sunday more than 14,000 and yesterday, Monday, more than 20,000 were without service, according to the company's website.
Hugo Sorrentini, press spokesman for the consortium, confirmed that in effect subscribers have experienced interruptions, some due to planned works in different regions and others due to breakdowns. He indicated that yesterday they are working on breakdowns registered in two lines, 1900 and 2400 in Utuado.
"We have the transmission line that goes from the Utuado area, Dos Bocas, to the Lares area. That line serves two substations in the Utuado area and two substations in the Lares area. We have redundancy in the lines, meaning that if one line fails, we have another alternate line that we can also distribute or transmit the energy to provide service to the customers in case the first one fails. In this case, the second line also presented a problem in what they call a bridge. It had an open bridge. Bridges are the ones used to connect two lines. That connection between the two lines failed," he explained.
Sorrentini indicated that on Sunday a part of the failure was worked on and yesterday it presented problems again.
In view of the situation, Sorrentini said they had to resort to a third line that also serves the municipalities of Lares, San Sebastián and Utuado. The affected municipalities are Arecibo, Utuado, San Sebastián and Lares.
"These are the most affected municipalities. It could be that other customers in neighboring towns that are supplied by these substations will also be affected," he said.
Sorrentini indicated that there are currently several groups working both in the aerial brigades and ground personnel working on both sides of the fault.
"We are working from the Utuado side and the Lares side to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. We hope that this afternoon the situation will be corrected and all residents will have service," he said.
Planned work leaves thousands without power
Meanwhile, Sorrentini attributed the interruptions registered during the weekend to planned works.
"In the past few days, like every day, we have many planned works that are being done throughout the island, including, for example, on Friday we were working in Bayamón and other parts of the island. We were also doing substation maintenance in Manatí, where there was a substantial number of customers who also had their service interrupted due to these planned improvements in their area," he said.
"This is an interconnected system, so all the improvements we make throughout Puerto Rico result in better service, not only for customers in the immediate area, but for all of Puerto Rico," he said.
He assured that the work is being done in coordination with the affected municipalities. LUMA has 1.5 million customers throughout Puerto Rico.