World A blackout has hit northern Puerto Rico after an explosion set off a big fire at a main power substation

06:45  12 february  2018
06:45  12 february  2018 Source:   Associated Press

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Puerto Rico plunged into darkness after a fire at the Aguirre power plant, a substation in the southern part of the island, triggered a cascade of problems across Puerto Rico 's aging electrical grid.

A big fire erupted at an electricity plant that powers most of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, causing a blackout that swept across the U.S. territory of 3.5 million people. TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events KEYWORDS: blackout ; power ; puerto ; puertorico ; rico .

People gather to chat outside a mini-market that uses electricity from a generator, at the squatter community of Villa Hugo in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, December 12, 2017.© REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins People gather to chat outside a mini-market that uses electricity from a generator, at the squatter community of Villa Hugo in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, December 12, 2017. A blackout has hit northern Puerto Rico after an explosion set off a big fire at a main power substation.

An explosion and fire at an electric substation threw much of northern Puerto Rico into darkness late Sunday in a setback for the U.S. territory's efforts to fully restore power more than five months after Hurricane Maria started the longest blackout in U.S. history.

The island's Electric Power Authority said several municipalities were without power, including parts of the capital, San Juan, but they were optimistic it could be restored within a day as they worked to repair a substation that controls voltage.

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Satellite pics show Puerto Rico both before and after the black out . Earlier this week, a fire at a power plant in Puerto Rico set off a series of This triggered a fire across a three-acre area. The resulting blackout caused widespread losses of water and air conditioning, as well as school closures.

All of Puerto Rico has been hit by a massive blackout after a fire erupted at a substation , causing a fault that is affecting two main transmission lines, officials say. Millions of residents are currently without power . (more).

The blast illustrated the challenges of restoring a power grid that was already crumbling before it was devastated by the Category 4 hurricane. In many cases, power workers are repairing equipment that should have long been replaced but remained online due to the power authority's yearslong financial crisis.

PREPA is worth roughly $4 billion, carries $9 billion in debt and has long been criticized for political patronage and inefficiency. It also struggled with frequent blackouts, including an island-wide outage in September 2016.

It was not immediately known what caused Sunday's fire, which was quickly extinguished. Officials said the explosion knocked two other substations offline and caused a total loss of 400 megawatts worth of generation.

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A big fire erupted at an electricity plant that powers most of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and a blackout swept across the U.S. territory of 3.5 million people. The Electric Power Authority said two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each failed for reasons still being investigated.

On June 16, two-thirds of the people of Puerto Rico lost power due a 250 kV line damage. On February 26, a failed switch and fire at an electrical substation outside Miami triggered widespread blackouts in parts of Florida affecting four million people.

"We are trying to restore that as quickly as possible," the company said.

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On February 26, a failed switch and fire at an electrical substation outside Miami triggered widespread blackouts in parts of Florida affecting four million people. "Most of Puerto Rico still in the dark after power plant fire ". ^ "SA power outage: how did it happen?". ^ King, Andrew.

Repair crews worked through the night trying to restore electricity to Puerto Rico 's 3.5 million people early Thursday after a fire at a power plant blacked out The outage was the latest hit for an island mired in a decade-long economic crisis and whose government has warned it is running out of money

Heavy black smoke billowed from the substation as neighbors in the area described on social media seeing the sky turn orange following a loud explosion. San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz tweeted that no injuries had been reported and that power had been restored in some areas of the city. The blackout comes as more than 400,000 power customers remain in the dark more than five months after Hurricane Maria.

The storm destroyed two-thirds of the island's power distribution system and caused up to an estimated $94 billion in damage.

Puerto Rico's governor announced last month that he plans to privatize the state-owned power company, which relies on infrastructure nearly three times older than the industry average.

It would be the largest restructuring of a public entity in U.S. history.

One week after his announcement, a federal control board overseeing the island's finances asked that a judge authorize a loan of up to $1.3 billion so the power company can keep operating.

The board said the company could see an estimated $1.2 billion loss in revenue in the first six months after Hurricane Maria.

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