Navigant testifies in a congressional hearing on plans to strengthen and stabilize Puerto Rico’s electrical grid
Since Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico in September, more than 50,000 are still without power, and outages persist even in areas where power has been restored. As the next hurricane season approaches, officials are working to put a plan in place that will address current grid challenges and prevent further damage as future storms occur.
During a recent hearing with the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the restoration of Puerto Rico’s electric infrastructure, subject matter expert Eugene Shlatz, director at Navigant, shared his insight on rebuilding efforts.
According to the Associated Press, Shlatz told the committee that his priority would be to ensure the island’s transmission grid is up to standard and can withstand a Category 4 hurricane. Additionally, Shlatz recommended installing underground power lines, relocating high-voltage transmission lines along existing highways instead of leaving them in hard-to-reach terrain, and installing flood barriers at substations.
Shlatz’s testimony supports findings from a December 2017 report, Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico, which Navigant prepared on behalf of the governors of the State of New York and Puerto Rico.
Read more about the topic here and watch the hearing below (Shlatz's testimony begins around 2:19:26).