Calgary-based Canadian Utilities Ltd. is part of a deal to modernize and operate the electric system in Puerto Rico, in a June 22, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canadian Utilities partners to operate, modernize Puerto Rico electricity system

CALGARY — A joint venture that includes Calgary-based Canadian Utilities Ltd. says it has struck a 15-year deal to modernize and operate the electric system in Puerto Rico after hurricanes in 2017 caused extensive damage.

The company, called Luma Energy LLC, is to receive a US$60-million fee in the transition year and an annual fixed fee that starts at US$70 million and increases to US$105 million in years four through 16.

Canadian Utilities, a division of Atco, is an equal partner with Quanta Services Inc., a Houston-based provider of infrastructure services for electric power, pipeline, industrial and communications industries.

The state-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is to continue to own the network of over 30,000 kilometres of transmission lines which serve more than 1.5 million residents.

The announcement follows an 18-month bidding process. The agreement does not require Luma to pay for any system operating costs or capital expenditures.

The company which will be headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has vowed to improve the system’s reliability and resiliency to severe weather events in the wake of an 11-month power outage after hurricanes Irma and Maria roared through in September 2017.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020.

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