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Puerto Rico Substation Modernization Initiative Gets Underway

LUMA Energy recently announced the launch of Puerto Rico’s federally funded Substation Modernization Initiative (SMI) with the modernization and reconstruction of the Manatí Substation in the municipality of Manatí.

In June 2020, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority selected LUMA Energy to operate, maintain and modernize the electricity transmission and distribution system of PREPA for fifteen years through a public-private partnership.

The Manatí SMI project represents an investment of more than $2.3 million in federal funding approved for phase one and over $55 million in federal funding estimated for the entire rebuild of the Manatí substation.

At the SMI launch event with LUMA were representatives of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

As part of the first SMI project, LUMA will replace outdated and obsolete oil circuit breakers with the industry standard 230-kilovolt gas circuit breakers, which it said will improve reliability and strengthen operational safety.

The Manatí SMI project, which is the first major work on this substation in the past 20 years, will include multiple phases with future improvements designed to replace aging equipment and reconfiguration of the entire substation, utilizing FEMA funding.

When completed, the Manatí SMI project will directly improve resiliency and reliability for the municipalities of Manatí, Barceloneta, Florida, Ciales, Morovis and Vega Baja, which are some of Puerto Rico’s most important industrial centers, LUMA noted.

Substation Modernization Initiative Details

The modernization of the Manatí substation is one of five substation modernization projects currently underway with a total of $58 million in already approved federal funds.

Among the projects that are estimated to begin construction in Q2 2023 include:

  • Cataño substation project with an investment of $24 million,
  • Costa Sur substation project (Phase 1) with an investment of $28 million,
  • Culebra substation project with an investment of $2 million,
  • Manatí substation project (Phase 1) with an investment of $2 million
  • Vieques substation project with an investment of $2 million.

Over the last 17 months, LUMA has advanced federally funded FEMA projects, with 251 projects initiated representing over $6 billion in federally funded projects. A total of 23 projects are already under construction or in service.