Do you really need to be reminded … just follow the$$$$$…

imageDo you really need to be reminded … just follow the$$$$$…

Tiny company from Zinke’s hometown gets $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid

 

By Mark Sumner  ….Tuesday Oct 24, 2017 · 6:11 AM PDTIn the midst of the disaster in Puerto Rico, it appears that someone may have engaged in graft as large as the hurricane that hit the island. Like other electrical utilities, the state-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has multiple mutual-aid agreements with other utilities. It can call on these agreements for help in repairing the power grid in an emergency. These are the same kind of arrangements that allowed utilities in Florida to get power there restored so quickly following the passage of Irma. But even though 79 percent of the island remains without power, PREPA  isn’t calling on those agreements.

A constellation of companies, including those controlled by Tesla’s Elon Musk, have offered to work with Puerto Rico to transform the island into a model for the nation using a series of micro-grids, distributed solar, and local storage. The resulting system would be clean, flexible, and resistant to large-scale failure. But, so far at least, none of those companies have the nod to proceed.

Instead, PREPA has awarded $300 million to Whitefish Energy. If that name is unfamiliar, it’s for a good reason.

For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

A company with no equipment, no experience, and no employees landed the job of restoring an electrical grid for an island of three and a half million Americans because … honestly, no one knows the answer. But they’re looking:

The unusual decision to instead hire a tiny for-profit company is drawing scrutiny from Congress and comes amid concerns about bankrupt Puerto Rico’s spending as it seeks to provide relief to its 3.4 million residents, the great majority of whom remain without power a month after the storm.

So far there seems to be only one clue: The two-person firm is headquartered in Whitefish, Montana. Which happens to be the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Is the Trump Administration Already Carving Up Puerto Rico for Its Cronies?

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

A tiny firm in Ryan Zinke’s hometown has mysteriously landed a $300 million contract. READ MORE»

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