Duke Energy Florida is joining the U.S. utility industry effort to help restore power to the island of Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory hit hard by Hurricane Maria last September, with hundreds of thousands of residents still without electricity.
On Sunday, Jan. 14, the company sent more than 200 Duke Energy employees to support the effort to restore electric service to areas hit hard by the storm. Personnel from Duke Energy operations in Florida, the Midwest, and Carolinas are taking part in the effort.
“Duke Energy Florida is sending additional resources to power Puerto Rico as safely and quickly as possible,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We understand electricity is an essential part of our lives. We are honored to help and stand united with other utilities in our commitment to provide assistance and help make daily life in Puerto Rico a little easier.”
Two weeks ago, the company sent bucket trucks and other equipment to the island and previously sent a contingent of 100 contract line workers to support recovery efforts.
The Duke Energy team will join personnel from several U.S. electric companies deploying a total of nearly 1,500 additional workers to assist with restoration.
They will join the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which have had incident management teams on the island since early December completing damage assessments of Puerto Rico’s energy grid and developing a coordinated restoration plan.
With the additional resources, the total number of power restoration workers will increase to more than 5,500. These include resources already working on the island from PREPA’s own crews, a contingent of crews from New York who are working as part of an intergovernmental agreement, and crews mobilized under USACE contracts.
The additional crews, including Duke Energy personnel, are scheduled to begin restoration efforts by Jan. 15.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
Duke Energy is a paying sponsor of wtsp.com.
© 2018 WTSP-TV