CUC: Physical restoration at 94 pct.


Only a small percentage of Saipan remains in the dark as most of the island’s power restoration work has been done, three months after Typhoon Soudelor.

“We’re using two different methods to calculate how far along we are with the power restoration,” Commonwealth Utilities Corp. public information officer Brad Ruszala said.

In terms of physical hardware, Ruszala said they were already at 94.37 percent yesterday.

Another indicator that they are looking at is by calculating the generation peak load before the storm and now. Last July, peak load reached 36.3 megawatts. Last Friday, peak load reached 31.4 megawatts.

“We’re at 89 percent,” Ruszala said.

He said the amount of megawatts that the public is using is a good indicator of the scope of the restoration.

The two figures put CUC near the 90 percent target rate for the end of October that was earlier set by Power Division manager Gary Camacho.

However, Ruszala clarified that that does not reflect how many customers are online.

The target for everyone to get power back is still sometime before Thanksgiving, he added.

Acting CUC executive director John Riegel said he is waiting for the current number of customers that are online based on the billings.

He said three weeks ago, the percentage of customers that are online was at 70 percent but that number would have increased because of the amount of work that they’ve done. Riegel said they might be close to 90 percent.

Marpi, Kagman, Talofofo, and Capital Hill are some of the places that are still not energized, according to Riegel.

He said most of the non-Saipan crew have already left but the team from Colorado remains on island to assist CUC linemen.

Ruszala said that CUC’s restoration work also include inspections of transformers and insulators at the top of poles.

“Restoration is more than just getting everybody power,” he said.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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