The electric utility for Puerto Rico, with its grid devastated by major storms in recent years, has taken delivery of three massive and mobile gas turbines to provide emergency power on the island.
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) now has three 30-MW FT8 MOBILEPAC dual-fuel turbines installed at the Palo Seco Power Plant in Toa Baja. The units are made by PW Power Systems (PSPS), while ARB Precision Corp. completed the installations at Palo Seco.
The MOBILEPAC units can be available for emergency power and can run on liquid fuel or natural gas. The movable power package includes two trailers, one with the gas turbine, generator and exhaust system, while the second carries the 15-kV switchgear, control system, protective relays and starting equipment.
“The three generators provide the opportunity for fast response in the event of an emergency or situation where we lose energy in the metropolitan area,” Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez said in a statement. “In eight to 10 minutes we can energize the system and provide electricity to about 40,000 customers.”
Hurricane Maria knocked out power to virtually all of the island two years ago. Since then, Puerto Rico has struggled to rebuild its grid infrastructure.
The three PWPS mega gen-sets can meet electricity demand for hospitals and the major airport, among other facilities, according to PREPA Executive Director Jose Ortiz.
“Although they are physically located at the Palo Seco plant, the equipment is portable, so they can be moved to isolated areas that, during emergencies, do not have transmission capacity,” he added.
PWPS is a group company of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, based in Florida. PWPS has exclusively leveraged the technology of Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines to produce emergency gen-sets.