Governor Cuomo Announces Aid Agreement with Newly-Elected Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi to Help Rebuild Power Grid and Improve Emergency Preparedness and Response
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the renewal of an agreement between the New York Power Authority and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to help Puerto Rico rebuild and reimagine its power grid, organize and maximize efficiencies in its utility operations, and prepare for future severe storms and geological events. The agreement builds on an agreement Governor Cuomo announced in 2019 and paves the way for New York to continue its ongoing support efforts in partnership with PREPA, the government-owned corporation responsible for electricity generation, power transmission and power distribution in Puerto Rico.
“When Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, New York stepped up to the plate on day one to deliver critical resources to the island and help our neighbors recover in their time of need,” Governor Cuomo said. “This renewed partnership will allow us to continue our important work to build back Puerto Rico’s power system stronger and more resilient than it was before and help ensure the island is prepared to withstand severe weather events in the future.”
Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi said, “My administration looks forward to building on the relationship that Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority have established with the Puerto Rican people. We are grateful for the assistance New York’s utility team provided in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and we look forward to extending this productive partnership.”
Under previous mutual aid agreements, NYPA was able to offer a broad range of technical expertise that helped Puerto Rico define and estimate their restoration and resiliency needs. That consultation helped result in the award late last year of several billions of dollars in federal disaster recovery aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with recovery and rebuilding of the island’s energy infrastructure.
After the aid was awarded, NYPA teams also worked closely with PREPA, during a very tight 90-day window — and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — to prepare a detailed 10-year spending plan for the FEMA funds that includes a list of projects, schedules and cost estimates related to upgrading the energy infrastructure to the latest utility codes & standards with emphasis on smart-grid technologies.