The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has chosen six contractors to compete for contracts worth up to $5 billion aimed at stabilizing Puerto Rico's power system. This decision comes in the wake of several storms and an earthquake over recent years that have left the power grid in Puerto Rico in a precarious state.
These multiple award task order contracts, granted by USACE, Savannah District, span a five-year ordering period. The primary objective of these contracts is to provide temporary power augmentation and address related issues with power generation facilities, as outlined by USACE. At an industry event earlier this year, officials stated that the contractors' task would involve enabling the generation of 350 MW to 700 MW at various locations across Puerto Rico.
The anticipated scope of work encompasses supplying equipment such as dual-fuel generators capable of running on natural gas or diesel, the installation of said equipment, and its operation for periods estimated to range from six to 18 months, according to USACE solicitation documents. Task orders may also entail the repair and replacement of components within existing transmission and distribution facilities. Close coordination with the public Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and utility company LUMA Energy will be a crucial aspect of the contractors' responsibilities.
The selected firms include Amentum Services; AshBritt; CDM Constructors; OMP Solutions; PTSI Managed Services; and Weston Solutions, as confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense contract award notice.
USACE intends to employ hybrid firm-fixed price task orders that incorporate elements of cost-plus fixed fees to account for fluctuations in fuel prices. The solicitation emphasizes that fuel costs pose the highest risk for this work, given the historical volatility of the petroleum market.
In response to last year's Hurricane Fiona, which temporarily plunged the island into darkness, the Biden administration established the Puerto Rico Power System Stabilization Task Force. This task force, consisting of USACE, FEMA, Department of Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency, has prioritized initiatives to add 150 MW in temporary power generation units at the Palo Seco Power Plant and another 200 MW of temporary generation at different facilities, according to the White House.
President Joe Biden underlined the importance of this effort, stating, "We know that the climate crisis and more extreme weather are going to continue to hit this island and hit the United States overall, and as we rebuild, we have to ensure that we build it to last. We're particularly focused on the power grid."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Atlantic Division (SAD) commander, Brigadier General Daniel Hibner, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on June 29, 2023, with the Puerto Rico Power Authority (PREPA), to initiate the permanent repairs of the Guajataca Dam in Isabela, Puerto Rico. The total estimated cost for this project is around $1 billion. The funds will be received from PREPA with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Funds. It is estimated that the permanent repairs will benefit 1,000 people that live directly downstream of the dam and another 250,000 that receive water from the filtration plants in Guajataca, Quebradillas, Isabela, and the mountains of Aguadilla. Governor Pedro Pierluisi was present during the signing ceremony.
“This Memorandum of Agreement sets the path for the final phase of the permanent repairs at the Guajataca Dam. This partnership is set for success, not only because of USACE expertise, but also because we have tremendous support from FEMA and the engagement and commitment of our local sponsor PREPA.” stated Brig Gen Hibner.
In 2017 Hurricane María caused failure of the spillway structure and damaged the water supply line, and the dam outlet works. Project Manager Carolina Burnette explained that the MOA paves the way for the risk analysis, which will take approximately two years. After completing this step, the design phase will occur, followed by the construction phase which is expected to last five years.
Puerto Rico’s governor, Pedro Pierluisi, stated that “this project will bring a dam that was built in 1913 to the twenty-first century. The dam will not only get the repairs needed but it will also have an alarm system that will inform first responders if evacuations are needed or will notify authorities of any other emergency that will put lives or properties at risk. The repairs will provide the Guajataca Dam with the stability, strength, and resiliency it needs for the future.”
Prior to signing of the MOA, Brig. Gen. Hibner met with Governor Pierluisi and other members of his cabinet and briefed them about Task Force Virgin Islands Puerto Rico (VIPR), as well as provided them with updates from the Puerto Rico Power Mission. The SAD Commander explained that “VIPR represents a precedent setting time in the history of USACE in the Island since the program infrastructure in Puerto Rico is larger than the last fifty years combined. This is an opportunity to make history in Puerto Rico. Task Force VIPR is about people: protect life and property of the citizens by mitigating the flood risk with leadership whose focus are the projects in both islands.”
The Power Mission, led by USACE’s District of Savannah, was also discussed before the ceremony. Regarding this mission, Brig. Gen. Hibner commented that USACE is “actively engaged in addressing the power grid challenges in Puerto Rico that have been made worse by recent hurricanes. The Corps is contributing valuable technical expertise to successfully deliver power to the grid and the infrastructure to rapidly respond to power generation and repair issues now and in the future.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District intends to solicit and award a $5 billion Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) for temporary emergency power augmentation and on related repairs of generation facilities to stabilize Puerto Rico's power system.
The work will consist of providing land based temporary generating units (dual fuel – LNG/diesel), temporary transformers, control cabling, and installation of equipment. In addition, the work will contain operation of the equipment, including maintenance, fuel, coordination with Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority (PREPA) and LUMA Energy (LUMA) on operation schedule and connections to their equipment.
Original Published Date: Jul 05, 2023 03:43 pm EDT
Original Date Offers Due: Aug 07, 2023 01:00 pm EDT
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