LUMA and DTOP Announce Approval to Begin the Transfer of the Transformer to Santa Isabel  

(June 18, 2024, San Juan, Puerto Rico) – LUMA, in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP), the Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau (PREMB), and the Puerto Rico Police, announced the approval of the plan to move a critical transformer from the Caguas area to Santa Isabel. This transformer move is part of the long-term solution to improve the electric service in Southern Puerto Rico that was impacted by bad weather on June 2. LUMA’s short term actions restored electric service to customers in Santa Isabel, Coamo and Aibonito since Sunday, June 9. Customers will continue to receive service as additional steps are taken to improve service.  

DTOP Secretary, Engineer Eileen M. Vélez Vega explained that “since the plan for the transfer of the transformer was received by LUMA, a team of engineers from the DTOP and the Highway and Transportation Authority (ACT) proceeded to responsibly evaluate its impact on the road infrastructure. For this, it is necessary to comply with the Regulations on the Dimensions and Weight of Heavy Motor Vehicles, Trailers and Semi-Trailers Traveling on Public Roads of Puerto Rico, which requires that it be done with special authorization as a result of the declaration of emergency. The evaluation included a structural analysis of over 42 bridges. Specialized structural engineers performed numerical modeling of the bridges to verify their safety. It should be noted that on the route, there is a drainage structure (box culvert), which will require the construction of a temporary bridge, which will be carried out by the company contracted by LUMA. As it is an energy emergency situation for the municipalities of Coamo, Santa Isabel and Aibonito, the evaluation was carried out in an expeditious way to guarantee road safety to all citizens.”  

The transfer is anticipated to begin on Wednesday, June 19 in the evening. The transformer will be transported to the San Juan dock, and from there by barge to the port of Ponce and finally to its destination in Santa Isabel. The route was determined by LUMA engineers in coordination with DTOP engineers and was provided by experts in road safety, critical infrastructure and the electrical system needed to move the heavy equipment.  


“This effort has been coordinated with the relevant government agencies, including Emergency Management, DTOP, the Department of Public Safety and the Puerto Rico Police. We took into account all necessary safety measures for our employees and the public, including working with DTOP to evaluate critical infrastructure such as bridges, roads and making sure it had as little impact on traffic as possible.” LUMA President and CEO, Juan Saca who also thanked the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works Eng. Eileen Vélez and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Nino Correa for their close collaboration throughout the process. “The spirit of collaboration has been constant and from the first moment to be able to support our customers in the south,” added Saca.  

“Since we became aware of the need to transport this transformer to Santa Isabel, we have been in constant communication between all agencies, Mayors and LUMA so that the process can be carried out safely. It is imperative to comply with laws and regulations that take time, but that have been worked on in coordination. Everyone’s goal is for this team to be able to reach its destination without setbacks for the benefit of our people in the south,” said Nino Correa, PREMB Commissioner, who was also involved in the logistics of the transfer.   

“The Department of Public Safety, together with the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration bureaus and the Police Bureaus, continue to support the Department of Transportation and Public Works and LUMA, allocating the necessary resources to implement the plan to transfer the transformer from Caguas to Santa Isabel with all the safety measures for both employees and citizens.  We also have communication with the mayors of these municipalities for logistics once the transformer arrives in Santa Isabel.  Our mission is to guarantee quality service to the people, and from day one we have not skimped on allocating the necessary resources to resolve the situation to the affected communities,” said DSP Secretary Alexis Torres.  

“We appreciate the support of customers during this process. We strongly request that you allow our teams to work without interruptions on the route for the safety of all those involved and to be able to comply with the transfer of the transformer safely,” Saca concluded.   


LUMA staff has worked continuously to stabilize service in Santa Isabel, Coamo and Aibonito following the June 2 severe weather events and was able to restore service on Sunday, June 9. As part of the efforts, the capacity of transmission line 4800 from Aibonito to Santa Isabel was increased and generators were installed in Santa Isabel and Coamo, to ensure continued service.  

LUMA’s teams have been working to advance improvement work for the installation of the replacement transformer. Once the transformer arrives at the Santa Isabel substation, it will take approximately four weeks to install and energize it, including all the necessary tests to ensure the proper and safe operation of the equipment.  As part of LUMA’s commitment to customers in the south, it is working simultaneously with the plan to rebuild lines 100 and 200 that will provide greater resilience and redundancy to municipalities in the region. Any temporary interruptions necessary for the installation of equipment will be announced ahead of time and communicated via LUMA’s website and in direct communications with municipal authorities, consistent with LUMA’s current practice for planned upgrades.  

LUMA will continue to provide periodic updates as the work progresses.  

About LUMA    LUMA is a Puerto Rican company that, since June 1, 2021, operates and manages the electric power transmission and distribution system in Puerto Rico. LUMA is a mission-driven company to transform the electric transmission and distribution system to provide all Puerto Ricans with the reliable, resilient, clean, and affordable electric service they deserve. As a customer-centric company, LUMA’s entire workforce is focused on providing exceptional and secure service to its 1.5 million customers