Questions swirl after small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico power contract

A small Montana utility firm with ties to the Trump administration has won a major multimillion-dollar contract to help restore large portions of Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid.

Whitefish Energy, a two-year old electrical utility firm, announced last week it secured a $300 million contract from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct parts of the island’s electrical infrastructure.

This is the largest contract awarded to any company for relief efforts on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The deal surpassed a six-month contract worth $240 million to Fluor Corp. from the Army Corps of Engineers to help bring power back to the island and a $35.1 million contract to Weston Solutions to provide two generators for temporary power to the city of San Juan.

The arrangement has raised a few eyebrows among Democrats given that Whitefish only had two employees the day Hurricane Maria hit. Already, Whitefish has scaled up to 300 employees in Puerto Rico — and it says 700 more are on the way. Such quick growth is typical among utility firms when they are awarded large contracts.

On Tuesday, both a House and a Senate committee called for a review into the Whitefish contract.

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