- Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez on Sunday announced she plans to cancel a deal between Canadian engineering firm Stantec and Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority, related to the rebuilding of the island's electric grid.
- Vázquez took over as governor Aug. 7 following the calamitous departure of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, and has said all government contracts will be reevaluated in the name of "transparency." The canceled deal is valued at $450,000, according to Vázquez's statement.
- Hurricane Maria destroyed the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (PREPA) system in 2017, and the full rebuild will take years. PREPA Executive Director José Ortiz indicated he would meet with the governor today to stress the deal's importance, in a statement that followed Vázquez's.
Vázquez did not give a reason for the deal's cancellation, but said in a statement "in this administration there is no room for unreasonable expenses."
Vázquez posted the statement to Twitter about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, and Ortiz responded at 10:15 p.m., saying he would meet with the governor early on Monday and "explain the importance of signing" the contract, stressing certain deadlines must be met in order to access hurricane recovery funds.
Hurricane Maria left virtually all of Puerto Rico's 1.5 million residents without power for months. Now, the island is working to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050. Rosselló, who led the island through the recovery, was forced to resign earlier this month after controversial chats on the Telegram app surfaced.
Stantec announced July 10 that it had been awarded a $3 million deal to "lead engineering services for infrastructure damage assessments in Puerto Rico." That project was awarded under a contract with the Eastern Federal Lands Division of the Federal Highway Administration.
In June, PREPA released its integrated resource plan, sketching out a 20-year campaign to modernize the island's grid and calling for almost 1.4 GW of solar generation and 920 MW of battery storage in the first four years of the overhaul, from 2019 to 2022.