LUMA Initiates Second Phase of Transformer Transfer to Santa Isabel

The first phase of the transformer transfer was completed without incident

(June 20, 2024, San Juan, Puerto Rico) – LUMA’s transformer, which will replace the damaged one at the Santa Isabel substation, began its maritime journey at 5:30 PM. The second phase of its transfer to the port of Ponce has commenced. Currently, the transformer is aboard the barge destined for Ponce. This leg of the journey could take between 12 to 24 hours, depending on maritime and weather conditions; it is expected to arrive in Santa Isabel over the weekend. LUMA has maintained constant communication with the municipalities of Ponce, Santa Isabel, and surrounding areas. The overland route from Ponce to Santa Isabel has been planned, and all necessary safety measures have been coordinated with relevant agencies.

Early this morning, the first part of the transformer transfer was successfully completed. The process, which began at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, took approximately 6 hours and covered about 15 miles from the Buen Pastor substation on PR-1 highway to the San Juan port, from where it will be transported by barge further south. Safety for LUMA’s employees and customers remains a top priority, which led to the decision to conduct the transformer transfer at night to minimize traffic impact and security concerns. This emphasis on safety was pivotal in completing the work without major incidents. Furthermore, the route planned by LUMA’s engineers and approved by the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP) reduced the number of bridges used, thus minimizing risks to Puerto Rico’s road infrastructure.

“All our teams were in place from early hours of the night. We validated and reviewed all safety processes and the route, and were ready to depart ahead of schedule,” said Luis Colón, Manager of Logistics, Warehouses, and Inventory at LUMA. “We collaborated closely with the transport company and their personnel, as well as with the Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, and the Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (NMEAD) to ensure the success of this move,” added Colón, who was part of the team accompanying the transformer during its journey.

LUMA’s personnel have been working continuously to stabilize service in Santa Isabel, Coamo, and Aibonito following the adverse weather events of June 2, and managed to restore service by Sunday, June 9. As part of these efforts, the transmission line capacity of Aibonito to Santa Isabel was increased, and generators were installed in Santa Isabel and Coamo, ensuring continuous energy supply.

LUMA’s Substation team has been advancing improvement works in preparation 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 necessary tests to ensure its safe and proper operation. As part of LUMA’s commitment to southern customers, simultaneous work is underway to rebuild lines 100 and 200, which will provide greater resilience and redundancy to the region’s municipalities. Any temporary service interruptions required for equipment installation will be announced in advance and communicated via LUMA’s website and directly to municipal authorities, following LUMA’s current practice for planned upgrades.

LUMA will continue to provide periodic updates as 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.