Sparks fly over Puerto Rico energy P3

Puerto Rico’s flagship energy P3 LUMA potentially extended despite public opposition.

Designed to “transform, harden, and rebuild” the island’s 30,000km energy system after its damage from multiple hurricanes, the project has suffered numerous outages since it went live last year and has not delivered all of the anticipated upgrades.

The project is anticipated to be extended to pave the way for the continuation of the arrangement with consortium members Atco and Quanta Services, despite growing public dissatisfaction.

Puerto Rico Speaker Rafael Hernandez called for “calm dialogue, with all options on the table" so that the parties can "reach a consensus agreement and the people do not continue to be exposed to the uncertainty and instability of our electrical system”.

In August, Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi warned the consortium that it needed major changes to the concession or the deal would lose his support.

Recently, however, the project has received support from the island’s P3 authority, which said the project had performed “reasonably” amid difficult circumstances, including labor shortages and the Covid-19 pandemic.