Burns & McDonnell of Kansas City, Missouri, has been selected by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to perform program management services to rebuild the electrical grid in Puerto Rico. The funds from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing will cover project formulation and funding, project management, design management services, environmental and historic preservation services, construction management services, accounting services, procurement management services, program administration, and other business office functions.
“The sheer scale and widespread devastation and destruction caused by Hurricane Maria on the power grid has created an opportunity to completely rebuild it in a resilient and modern way,” says Efran Paredes, CEO of PREPA. “We are working to reduce energy costs, promote smart energy consumption and protect the environment. And ultimately and most importantly, we want to deliver a grid to the people of Puerto Rico that is resilient to severe weather conditions in the future. As the leader in transmission and distribution, we look to our new partnership with Burns & McDonnell to rebuild our electrical infrastructure.”
Local workers and companies will benefit
In a press release, Burns & McDonnell committed to hiring local workers and sourcing with local vendors. “A team of employee-owners from Burns & McDonnell, including several from Puerto Rico, were deployed to the island immediately after the hurricane to support grid restoration activities,” the company says. “Many of these employees will leverage knowledge gained about Puerto Rico’s power grid during the restoration work to also support various program management activities. Burns & McDonnell is also committed to investing in the community.”
Building back better
The work will begin with a 10-year plan for projects that will rebuild the grid with greater resilience, environmental awareness, and modernization with hurricanes and earthquakes in mind.
The company has been working with PREPA’s engineers over the past year to increase knowledge of grid modernization technologies and seismic design. Describing the PREPA workforce as “highly skilled,” Burns & McDonnel acknowledge that much of that workforce was lost in recent years.
“Burns & McDonnell is honored to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s infrastructure,” says Mike Brown, president of Burns & McDonnell International. “We are passionately committed to this project, our clients and the people of Puerto Rico.”