Puerto Rico Endures Country-Wide Blackout

Attached Image Corey Kluber

Attached Image Corey Kluber

Power was restored to more than 1.1 million Puerto Ricans after an island-wide blackout plagued the USA territory Wednesday.

PREPA's interim director, Justo Gonzalez, told the local Telemundo news station that his workers are investigating whether the outage was caused by an internal failure or an external force.

Puerto Rico has been plagued by several blackouts in recent months, including a major outage last week that affected roughly 840,000 people.

The priority is to restore service to critical structures such as hospitals, the airport, water pumps and banks, according to the agency's Twitter account. The outage last Thursday was set off when a tree limb fell on a power line as the contractor cleared land in central Puerto Rico and a backup line failed. Wednesday was the first island-wide blackout since Hurricane Maria tore through on September 20, 2017. Outdated power grids like the one in Puerto Rico are becoming less reliable so southern US states such as Texas, Florida, and Louisiana as well as Caribbean Islands started to show more interest in solar energy.

A view of a street during an island-wide power outtage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 18 April 2018. "The grid is so fragile and they're just barely able to get the lights back on".

"The areas that are wealthier, the areas that are more urban, had power restored much more quickly", said Kelly Macias, a staff writer at the Daily Kos.

"This is the second power failure that has affected the people of Puerto Rico in less than a week", Rossello said.

.

"The entire electrical system in Puerto Rico collapses AGAIN!"

In response to the controversy, the government of Puerto Rico canceled the contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings on October 29, 2017. CNN reported 51,000 customers have power so far out of 1.4 million across the island.

Individual faults, such as the one that occurred in southern Puerto Rico, can have a ripple effect on the grid because the island lacks sufficient generation reserves to continue operation when one plant or transmission line goes offline, Jorge Camacho, a former District of Columbia regulatory staffer who is now working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology told Utility Dive.

The power outage has called into question a baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians scheduled for Wednesday night in San Juan.

The U.S. Army's top engineer said in February that their role was never to completely rebuild the power system.

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