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Puerto Rico power-company CEO resigns as thousands lack electricity

Source: 
The New York Daily News

In the aftermath of yet another tropical storm that has further weakened the island’s electricity infrastructure, the CEO of Puerto Rico’s state-owned power company is going to step down.

José Ortiz, who leads the Electric Power Authority, will leave his position on Wednesday as thousands remain without power due to Tropical Storm Isaias. Ortiz has been the target of widespread outrage this year, as exasperated customers note that ongoing outages are unacceptable during a blisteringly hot summer in the middle of a pandemic. Many blame both a lack of resources and a failure of leadership for the difficult situation.

“We don’t have employees or suitable equipment,” Walberto Rolón, a secretary for a power workers’ union, told The Associated Press. “This is something that can be fixed.”

Ortiz technically had a more successful run than his immediate predecessor, as he was the company’s third CEO in two weeks when he was appointed in July 2018. In a statement, Ortiz claimed that he had only committed to the job for two years and that this was the time to move on.

“My resignation comes at an appropriate moment in the transformation of PREPA into the modern electric utility all Puerto Ricans deserve,” he said.

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Discussions

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 4, 2020 4:16 pm GMT

Ortiz was obviously tired of dealing with renewables disciples demanding the territory waste more money on solar farms:

"Puerto Rico produced just 2% of its power from renewables before the hurricanes, despite an existing law that required 12%, InsideClimate News reported. The new legislation’s ambitious benchmarks ― 20% by 2022 and 40% by 2025 ― seem at odds with PREPA’s plans to build out natural gas import terminals, pipelines and power generators. 

It’s not enough either to build the solar panel and battery farms. They have to be maintained. The busted solar panels at the facility on Vieques’ northern shore is a textbook case of what Jenean Smith, an executive at the California-based nonprofit solar installer Grid Alternatives, calls a 'solar graveyard'".

On Puerto Rico’s ‘Forgotten Island,’ Tesla’s Busted Solar Panels Tell A Cautionary Tale

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