The Trump administration used Thursday to highlight its efforts to repair Puerto Rico's power grid and restore electricity delivery on the island, which was nearly completely knocked out after Hurricane Maria.
"One of the things we have done is deliver to the island massive numbers of generators for electricity because with the power plants down and in such bad shape, we had to find some way to get [service restored], especially for the hospitals," President Trump said earlier Thursday upon meeting with Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello at the White House.
Trump suggested that so many generators had been sent to the island that it could have set a record.
Later on Thursday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began posting a string of tweets detailing the efforts it has taken in the last 24 hours to restore the grid, including the installation and en route shipment of hundreds of generators.
The Army Corps said that "2 GE mobile gas turbines" totaling 50 megwatts of electricity generation at Palo Seco were expected to be operational this month. Those portable generators are powered by natural gas, not diesel. The mobile turbines are mini power plants that can power tens of thousands of homes.
The Army Corps said 148 generators have been installed, another 21 are being installed, and 129 generators are en route, with an additonal 108 "on-hand" in reserve, according to a tweet storm of updates coming from Puerto Rico.
The Army Corps is repairing transmission lines on the island, tweeting that in the last 24 hours, four 38 kilovolt "lines and two substations were energized," meaning electricity began flowing and being delivered.
The Army Corps also announced that it awarded a $40 million contract to PowerSecure Inc. for additional support to repair the power grid in Puerto Rico.
"We are 100 percent committed, along with our partners, to restoring electricity to the citizens of the island," said Brig. Gen. Diana Holland, Army Corps division commander for the south Atlantic region.
Personnell from the company will arrive in Puerto Rico Friday. "They will supplement efforts taking place by more than 400 crews to repair the distribution and transmission lines," said the Army Corps. "The crews include members of Delta Company, 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) along with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's employees and contractors."
Meanwhile, the Army Corps is deploying resources to the U.S. Virgin Islands, another U.S. territory pummeled by the hurricanes. It said 85 generators have been installed in the Virgin Islands, 12 are in progress of being installed, with 47 "on-hand and 55 en route."
The Army said the process of repairing the grid includes four main actions: providing temporary emergency power and spot generation, ensuring adequate generation at power plants, repairing transmission lines, and repairing local distribution lines that feed electricity to homes and facilities.