Fortnightly Top Innovators 2018
Saul Rojas is VP – Technical Compliance, New York Power Authority.
Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and President of Lines Up, Inc.
PUF: What was your role in the restoration from the storm damage in Puerto Rico?
Saul Rojas: It was September 21 of last year, the day after Hurricane Maria made landfall, when NYPA was called on by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. This was a significant and unique challenge. No one in the industry and government expected the kind of damage left by Maria. I'm very proud of how, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State responded.
NYPA was the first utility on the ground. It was a tough assignment, but our workers were amazingly resilient. They created the foundation for a bigger restoration force that would come from all New York State private and public utilities. Led by NYPA's CEO, Gil Quiniones, and the New York State utility leadership, we dramatically expanded our efforts in Puerto Rico in early November. It was an immense undertaking.
While I had the honor of orchestrating this effort on behalf of New York State, there were many good people from NYPA and the State private and public utilities supporting this effort. It was truly a testament to teamwork and a great partnership between private and public utilities.
PUF: It seems like there were - by necessity - a hundred innovations along the way.