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Massive Puerto Rico Grid Modernization Underway

image credit: Martin Rosenberg
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Journalist, Author, Social Media and Conference Architect Hippo Energy Media

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  • Jun 4, 2021 11:30 pm GMT
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As official hurricane season barrels down on the Caribbean, this month the LUMA Energy consortium embarks on an unprecedented $20 billion, 15-year project to rebuild the damaged, long-neglected electric infrastructure on Puerto Rico. 

In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg follows up with two former guests to get an update on the project. 

Wayne Stensby is the President and CEO of Luma Energy. David Owens is the Vice-Chair of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

“We will be administering the deployment of the FEMA funding to rebuild what is desperately needed here in Puerto Rico in terms of a badly dilapidated and damaged… transmission and distribution…and kind of all the elements of technology in the power system,” said Wayne Stensby. 

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FEMA, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, is providing $10 billion to support the effort, one of its largest undertakings ever. 

“We interact extremely well with the FEMA, with the Department of Energy, with other agencies who have a keen interest in the work that Wayne is going to be doing to rebuild the grid, so I think we’re on target,” Owens said. 

David K. Owens is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in public policies surrounding utility operations, strategic planning, technology development, rate making and regulation. He is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric utility issues, industry restructuring, and transformation. His experience in the electricity sector includes leading the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) efforts over a broad set of issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets.

He spearheaded efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America’s electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new technologies to address climate change, and to enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart electric grids.

Mr. Owens is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor and Master of Engineering degrees. He also has a Master in Engineering Administration from George Washington University.

Luma Energy was formed Quanta Services, ATCO, and Innovative Emergency Management to rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical grid.

Mr. Stensby joined ATCO in 1988 and has held a variety of leadership positions, including assignments in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Most recently, in mid-2019, Mr. Stensby was appointed Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, where he was responsible for the growth of Canadian Utilities’ global portfolio of investments in premier energy infrastructure. 

Mr. Stensby holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and is registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGA.

Grid Talk is a podcast featuring the leaders and innovators shaping the 21st century grid. Hear the stories—in their own words—of how they are meeting the challenges and transitioning their businesses to operate successfully in a new era of evolving markets, changing regulations, higher customer expectation, increasing cybersecurity threats, demands for cleaner energy sources, growing customer-owned generations and emerging technology. The podcast is part of Department of Energy’s Voices of Experience, an initiative that supports grid modernization by sharing insights, lessons learned and advice on operating in a rapidly evolving industry.

 

 

About the Host

Grid Talk is hosted by award winning, energy journalist Marty Rosenberg. For nearly 40 years, Marty has been covering business, energy, finance, and technology. He was the Editor-in-Chief for EnergyBiz from 2004 to 2014. EnergyBiz was an award-winning national publication covering energy and utilities. Marty has been published in multiple media outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post and USA Today. Marty plugs into the industry knowledge base to deliver critical information about the opportunities and challenges facing utilities today. The result is engaging conversations about modernizing our electric grid.

For more episodes - https://www.smartgrid.gov/gridtalk/

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