Aftermath of a Tropical Island Power Grid After a Category 5 Hurricane: Case Study

Luis M. Traverso, Rolando Garcia, José Almodovar, and Idalides J. Vergara


Resiliency, microgrids, power grid infrastructure, hurricanes


This paper discusses the need to address the resiliency of the electric power grid of Puerto Rico after the impact of a category 5 hurricane. More than 80% of distribution posts and transmission towers that support distribution and transmission lines collapsed, which exposes the prevalent structural infrastructure issue. With centralized-generation grid, the collapse of these structures left the entire Island in an absolute blackout. A forensic approach to the aftermath is presented and the poor resiliency level of the power grid in Puerto Rico is discussed. This leads to a series of concise recommendations, such as materials and geometries to be used, maintenance strategies, and so forth. These recommendations are expected to improve the resiliency of the power grid and mitigate the adverse impact of future catastrophic events in a cost-effective manner.

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