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Power companies deploying teams to Puerto Rico to assist restoration

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with several electric power companies coordinating incident management teams to help restore power to the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The power authority, or PREPA, signed the MOU with the American Public Power Association; Edison Electric Institute, or EEI; and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The electric power industry is deploying seven incident management teams, according to a Dec. 8 news release, with the first wave of teams consisting of storm response experts from investor-owned utilities and public power utilities.

Each team will comprise seven to 10 experts and be assigned to seven key regions on Puerto Rico. The will coordinate restoration efforts with PREPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The second wave will consist of experts from the electric cooperatives.

"Since our industry first received the request for mutual assistance from PREPA at the end of October, we have been working aggressively to provide crews, equipment, materials, expertise, and additional resources to assist with the massive power restoration mission," said EEI President Tom Kuhn.

A team of electric company storm response experts, led by Carlos Torres, retired from Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., has been in Puerto Rico since early November and is coordinating closely with local officials, PREPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency.