Whitefish Energy, the controversial energy firm repairing Puerto Rico's hurricane-wrecked power grid, is under fresh scrutiny for charging the island's power authority hundreds of dollars more per hour than its linemen receive.
The New York Times reported that the tiny Montana-based company—which doesn't have many of its own employees—contracted electrical workers from Florida at rates that range from $42 to $100 per hour, with an average rate of $63. Whitefish, however, has been charging the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) $319 an hour for each worker.
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More than 80 percent of Puerto Rico was once again left without power after a main north-south transmission line failed.
According to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the island was left with only 18 percent power generation on Thursday. The capital San Juan and other major cities were plunged back into darkness.
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The small Montana-based power company said it was "very disappointed" with the decision which came after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called on PREPA to "immediately" cancel the deal.
The company tasked with restoring Puerto Rico's electricity grid has apologized after feuding with the mayor of San Juan and threatening to pull its services.
"Mayor Cruz and everyone in Puerto Rico—on behalf of our employees, we would like to apologize for our comments earlier today, which did not represent who we are and how important this work is to help Puerto Rico's recovery," Whitefish Energy tweeted.
Two-Person Company Gets $300 Million Contract to Restore Puerto Rico's Power Grid, Raising Questions
Bipartisan lawmakers expressed concern Tuesday over the contract to restore Puerto Rico's power grid being given to a tiny energy firm from Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's hometown.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority signed a $300 million contract last week with two-year-old Montana-based Whitefish Energy, which employed only two people when Hurricane Maria hit the island last month.