Repair or Rebuild: Options for Electric Power in Puerto Rico [November 16, 2017]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm with sustained wind speeds of over 155 miles per hour. The hurricane also brought torrential rainfall with a range of 15 to 40 inches or more in some places, resulting in widespread flooding across the island. Puerto Rico's office of emergency management reported that the storm had incapacitated the central electric power system, leaving the entire island without power as the island's grid was essentially destroyed. [...] This report explores several alternative electric power structures to PREPA [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] for meeting the electricity services and needs of Puerto Rico. The ability of Puerto Rico and its citizens to assume the burden of paying for a rebuilt (and possibly restructured) electricity system is doubtful. Modernizing Puerto Rico's grid, and taking the next steps to incorporate resiliency, could be expensive. None of the options discussed provides a silver bullet solution to the issues of the grid in Puerto Rico. Congress may consider whether the efforts to restore electric power in Puerto Rico need to progress beyond simple restoration of electricity, and require new investment and oversight by the federal government."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R45023
Public Domain
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