- All of the island's electricity knocked out by Hurricane Maria
- Widespread damage to infrastructure
- Need for rapid solution to provide generating capacity and stabilize fragile grid
On September 20, 2017, Puerto Rico took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, a massive storm with sustained winds of 155 mph when it made landfall. By the time Maria spun away from Puerto Rico, the entire island was thrown into darkness, with its aging distribution, transmission and generation infrastructure left devastated. Recognizing the likelihood for severe damage even before the hurricane made landfall, APR Energy contacted federal and Puerto Rican authorities in mid-September to make them aware of the company’s readiness if emergency power was required. APR Energy also took the initiative to stage some of its newest-generation GE TM2500 mobile gas turbines in the region, in the event they would be needed.
Weeks after Hurricane Maria, more than 90% of Puerto Rico residents still lacked electricity. On October 12, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its federal contractor Weston Solutions hired APR Energy to rapidly install and operate two mobile turbines at the Palo Seco power plant near San Juan. Mobile turbine technology was favored over smaller diesel reciprocating engines for its high-power density, significantly lower emissions and ability to stabilize the grid – reducing risk of blackouts. By the end of October, and just 17 days after contract signature, both units became fully operational, completing one of the fastest installations ever for mobile gas turbines. Soon after the Palo Seco plant became operational, on November 7, APR Energy was awarded a separate contract to install a TM2500 mobile gas turbine at the Yabucoa power plant in southeast Puerto Rico, generating 25MW of emergency power. The Yabucoa plant became fully operational 30 days later, adding much-needed stability to the ailing grid. APR Energy’s combined 85MW plants are now helping to stabilize the power grid and restore critically needed electricity to thousands of homes, hospitals, schools and businesses – a vital step in the long process of the rebuilding of Puerto Rico.