A Major Whitefish Energy Repair Job Failed Last Night

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

When a $300 million contract to repair and rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical grid was handed to a company whose previous largest contract was worth just $1.3 million, citizens and government officials alike were rightfully concerned.

Those concerns appear to have born out. A major line that was repaired by Whitefish Energy failed last night and areas of Puerto Rico that had their power restored lost their power again.

From Buzzfeed:

Just 18% of Puerto Rico now has power, according to the island's energy utility, down from 43% before the line failed on Thursday, wiping out a quarter of Puerto Rico's power generation.

The line failure took out 25% of Puerto Rico's power generation, which was at 43% capacity just before the failure, according to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Just 18% of the territory now has power, and officials did not have a clear timeline on when the power will be restored.

Of course, Whitefish Energy has denied responsibility for the failure even though no one seems to know exactly what happened.

In any case, Whitefish's (now canceled) contract left the company free of liability so, technically speaking, I suppose they aren't responsible.

  • muselet

    A restored transmission line failing is not an unimaginable event. Especially if the company responsible is, let us say, underqualified to do the repairs in the first place.

    But in a statement to BuzzFeed News on Thursday, Whitefish Energy denied that the outage was caused by any of the work it had done on that line.

    “None of the issues reported today with the outage have anything to do with the repairs Whitefish Energy performed,” spokesperson Brandon Smulyan said.

    Oh, I see. It’s all a terrible coincidence. Yeah, that explanation makes almost as much sense as “the dog ate my homework.”

    Good grief, the nerve of these people.


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  • David Greenberg

    Why does a cancellation of contract free the company of liability for work they’ve done and been paid for?

  • Badgerite

    Who could have predicted?