Puerto Rico Electricity Generation Took One Year to Recover From 2017 Hurricane: EIA
Nearly a year had passed before net electricity generation in Puerto Rico approached levels similar to those in the months before Hurricanes Irma and Maria damaged the territory’s electricity grid in September 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest annual Power Plant Operations Report.
When Hurricane Irma passed near Puerto Rico in early September 2017, about two-thirds of the island’s 1.5 million electric utility customers lost power. Later that same month, on September 20, Hurricane Maria struck. Damage from Hurricane Maria rendered 80 percent of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) transmission and distribution network inoperable, causing nearly all electric utility customers to lose power. Puerto Rico’s net generation dropped from 1.57 million megawatt-hours in August 2017 to 0.27 million megawatt-hours in October 2017. From November 2017 through August 2018, Puerto Rico’s net electricity generation remained lower than the previous year’s levels. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s situation reports, about 96 percent of customers had their power restored as of April 2018, but net electricity generation remained relatively low for several more months.
Puerto Rico’s electricity is supplied by PREPA, a government agency that owns and operates the electricity transmission and distribution systems, as well as 77 percent of the electric power generating capacity, according to EIA.