The National Electrical Union (UNE) is working hard to restore power across the country, following the damages left by Hurricane Irma.
Lázaro Guerra, UNE technical director, noted that almost the entire island was impacted. He added that service has already been restored in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo, Granma, Holguín, Las Tunas and Camagüey, thanks to thermoelectric plants in Renté, a unit in Nuevitas and another in Felton.
The engineer explained that these are areas or “islands,” according to the electrical terminology, which are strengthened by power generation through thermoelectric plants. However, he clarified that the service is not yet stable, and efforts are ongoing, including constant analysis and evaluation to ensure there are no setbacks, as any mistake could imply a further 36 hours of work.
Guerra noted that the power supply in the west is the most affected, with only a few plants functioning in the capital. Meanwhile, the central region is awaiting the incorporation to the grid of the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes generating unit in Cienfuegos.
Guerra explained that the damages are not due to impacts on the technology, but to the integrity of the national electrical system.
With some thermo plants having been cut off from the grid, which generate 74% of the country’s power, full coverage of demand currently remains impossible. Without the incorporation of these plants to the grid, there can be no stability in the service. For this reason, efforts are focused on the creation of islands, which will then be interconnected to the national grid and make the service sustainable.
According to the Director General of the Havana Electricity Company, Jesús Samón, interviewed on national television, just 24 hours after Hurricane Irma passed, workers have succeeded in partially restoring power to the capital. “In areas such as the San Agustín substation, La Lisa, the service was restored in the early hours, also in parts of Old Havana, the Avenida del Puerto, a part of Boyeros, and in Plaza.”
He added that of the 302 primary distribution circuits, 128 are ready to restore the power supply, as soon as it can be generated.