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Puerto Rico Floats $20 Billion Overhaul for Battered Power Grid

  • Plan unveiled day after proposed fee hike prompts backlash
  • Shows hurdles faced by bankrupt utility as it rebuilds

Puerto Rico’s government-owned electricity company announced a $20 billion plan to modernize and strengthen a power grid that was devastated by Hurricane Maria two years ago, even as a backlash against a small fee increase underscored the financial challenge facing the bankrupt utility.

Jose Ortiz, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as Prepa, announced the plan at a press conference with Governor Wanda Vazquez in San Juan. He said that the project will rebuild the failure-prone power system with a web of so-called micro grids, funded in part with federal and private funds over the next decade.