T&D

Puerto Rico restoration suffers setback with transmission line failure

A repaired power line failed in Puerto Rico, causing another power outage to an area that had previously had its electricity restored.

According to NBC News, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said the 230-kilovolt transmission failure plunged Puerto Rico from 43.2 percent power to 18 percent power.

The line, which ran from Arecibo to Manatí, had been repaired by Whitefish Energy Holdings — the small, Montana-based company that won a $300 million contract and kicked off a minor scandal when connections to the Donald Trump administration were revealed.

Whitefish, located in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown, had its contract looked into by federal investigators and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello asked PREPA to cancel the contract as it had become a “distraction.”

Federal investigators looked into the contract awarded to the small company from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown and the deal is being audited at the local and federal level.

According to the Associated Press, Zinke, a former Montana congressman, knows Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski, and Zinke’s son also worked at for the company.

This most recent power outage touched off by the faulty line affected the capital city of San Juan, as well as several other cities.

Officials said power could be restored to the area within a day.

A Whitefish official told NBC News that the outage was not due to any repairs done by Whitefish.