Puerto Rico to spend $20 B to modernize power grid

Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico unveiled the details of a $20 B plan to strengthen and modernize its shaky power grid, more than two years after Hurricane Maria.

As islanders brace for a looming rate hike amid a recession, the 10-year plan aims to bury power lines, increase the use of natural gas and create a transmission and distribution system that will withstand winds of at least 160 mph instead of 145 mph.

At least 60 % of the estimated $20 B will be used for transmission and distribution repairs, officials said. They expect federal funds will cover at least $13 B of the overall cost.

By year’s end, the government expects to choose the company that will take over the transmission and distribution of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, which is some $9 B in debt. The new owner will be responsible for implementing the plan, which also calls for the creation of eight micro grids capable of operating independently if a storm knocks one out.

That project, along with some others, will take up to a decade to complete.

Source: CBS