Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico's electric grid, destroying half the island's long-distance transmission lines and compromising most local distribution capacity. Virtually all cell towers went dark. Restoring service under these conditions would be a daunting challenge under any circumstances. But Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority filed for bankruptcy last July.
Environmentalists are already lobbying for Prepa to build a greener grid, one less dependent on “old” fuels like oil. But Puerto Rico didn't go dark because of how it produces electricity. The power plants survived. The wires distributing power got destroyed.