The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has selected six contractors to compete for up to $5 billion in work to stabilize Puerto Rico's power system. The move comes after multiple storms and an earthquake in the past several years have left the U.S. territory’s power grid in fragile condition.
The multiple award task order contracts awarded by the Corps’ Savannah District have a five-year ordering period. The primary focus of the contracts is to provide temporary power augmentation and related repairs of power generation facilities, according to the Corps. Contractors would enable generation of 350 MW to 700 MW at various locations throughout Puerto Rico, officials said at an industry event earlier this year.
The scope of work is expected to include providing equipment such as dual fuel generators capable of running on natural gas or diesel, installation of the equipment and its operation for terms estimated between six and 18 months, according to Corps solicitation documents. Task orders may also include repairing and replacing components of existing transmission and distribution facilities. The contractors will need to coordinate with the public Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and utility company LUMA Energy.
The selected firms include Amentum Services Inc. of Chantilly, Va.; Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based AshBritt Inc.; CDM Constructors Inc. of Boston; Cape Canaveral, Fla.-based OMP Solutions LLC; PTSI Managed Services Inc. of Pasadena, Calif.; and West Chester, Pa.-based Weston Solutions Inc., according to the U.S. Dept. of Defense notice.
The Corps says it will use hybrid firm-fixed price task orders that include cost-plus fixed fee elements to account for changing fuel prices. The solicitation notes that fuel presents the highest cost risk for the work. “The petroleum market has been volatile, with large swings in cost in recent history,” it states.
The Biden administration formed a Puerto Rico Power System Stabilization Task Force last year with the Corps, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency following last year’s Hurricane Fiona, which temporarily knocked out power across the island.
“We know that the climate crisis and more extreme weather are going to continue to hit this island and hit the United States overall,” President Joe Biden said in a speech at the time. “And as we rebuild, we have to ensure that we build it to last. We’re particularly focused on the power grid.”
The task force previously awarded task orders to Weston to add temporary power generation units at the Palo Seco and San Juan power plants. A Weston representative said in a statement that the company leveraged relationships with local teammates to navigate the challenges of building new infrastructure in the existing plants’ footprints.
Representatives from the other firms either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to inquiries.