Antonio S. Luchetti

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Antonio S. Lucchetti
Born Antonio S. Lucchetti Otero
January 20, 1888
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Died December 19, 1956
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality Puerto Rican
Education Electrical engineer
Alma mater Cornell University
Known for Father of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

Antonio S. Lucchetti (1888-1958) was a Puerto Rican engineer and public servant, through whom comprehensive electric service was established in Puerto Rico via the Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority (PRWRA) and, later, via the public electric company, Fuentes Fluviales.[1][2]

Lucchetti was instrumental in establishing the Utilización de las Fuentes Fluviales in Puerto Rico. Utilizacion was established to provide electric services not provided by private companies. Lucchetti saw that private companies operated inefficiently and, in 1937, worked for the government to acquire the first of the three electric companies operating in the Island, the Ponce Electric Co., and to build hydroelectric plants at Carite and Toro Negro.[3][4]

Early years and training[edit]

Antonio S. Lucchetti (born Antonio S. Otero Luchetti [note 1]) was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1888.[5][6][7] He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1910.[8]

History[edit]

Despite the fact that Puerto Rico had no coal or oil for energy development, there were many rivers to supply electrical needs via hydroelectricity. Luchetti was at time executive director of the Utilización de las Fuentes Fluviales (later known as the Autoridad de las Fuentes Fluviales, or AFF, and now called the Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica or PREPA). He judged that what the government of Puerto Rico needed to do at the moment was to purchase the three private electric companies operating in the island: the Ponce Electric Co., the Porto Rico Railway Light & Power Company, and Mayagüez Light, Ice & Power Co., and concentrate on building and island-wide energy infrastructure. He estimated the cost at $7 million.[9]

Efforts to create the Electric Energy Authority[edit]

Lucchetti next reasoned that for the power infrastructure to be built, it was necessary to issue government bonds. Prior to 1938, these bonds would have been tied to the insular government’s ability to pay. Fortunately, on June 25, 1938, the U.S. Congress amended the Organic Act of Puerto Rico to authorize public corporations to issuance of bonds without such condition. Luchetti tried to take advantage of this federal initiative, but encountered opposition to this plan when the US-appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, Blanton Winship, vetoed the project in 1938 on the grounds that it was incompatible with the 1917 Jones-Shafroth Act.[10]

Fuentes Fluviales created[edit]

Lucchetti did not give up on his efforts to create the power infrastructure he sensed the Island needed. He continued to try to kickoff his plan through efforts in the U.S. Congress. However, but due to the reluctance of the insular Legislature, the project was unsuccessful. However, on May 2, 1941, the newly appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, Guy J. Swope, approved Lucchetti's plan and signed the law creating the Autoridad de las Fuentes Fluviales.[11] The creation of Fuentes Fluviales made possible the development of electric energy Puerto Rico needed in order to make possible the Operation Bootstrap industrialization that started in the late 1940s.

Death and legacy[edit]

Luchetti died in 1956, having seen his dream become a reality.[12]

  • In Arecibo, Puerto Rico, there is a new high school named in his honor.[13]
  • In Yauco there is a 108-hectares man-made lake named after him.[14]
  • In Bayamon, there is an industrial park named after him. [15]
  • At the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, the Mechanical Engineering building is named in his honor.[16]
  • At the Santurce area of Condado of San Juan, Luchetti street is named after him.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Otero and the second or maternal family name is Luchetti.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ponceños Ilustres. Municipality of Ponce.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia Puerto Rico
  3. ^ PREPA: a serious lag in our competitiveness. Jose L. Bolivar. Puerto Rico Daily Sun. 2 August 2009. Page 41.
  4. ^ El Banco de Fomento de Puerto Rico y las primeras emisiones de bonos de la Autoridad de las Fuentes Fluviales: 1941-1948. José L. Bolívar Fresneda. Revista de Ciencias Sociales 19 (2008). University of Puerto Rico, Department of History. pp.100-127.
  5. ^ Cornell University Alumni News. Vol 45., No. 25. (April 22, 1943) Page 11. Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Ponceños Ilustres. Municipality of Ponce.
  7. ^ Proyecto Salon Hogar
  8. ^ PREPA: a serious lag in our competitiveness. By Jose L. Bolivar. Puerto Rico Daily Sun. August 2, 2009. Page 41.
  9. ^ PREPA: a serious lag in our competitiveness. By Jose L. Bolivar. Puerto Rico Daily Sun. August 2, 2009. Page 41.
  10. ^ PREPA: a serious lag in our competitiveness. By Jose L. Bolivar. Puerto Rico Daily Sun. August 2, 2009. Page 41.
  11. ^ PREPA: a serious lag in our competitiveness. By Jose L. Bolivar. Puerto Rico Daily Sun. August 2, 2009. Page 41.
  12. ^ Proyecto Salon Hogar
  13. ^ GPA.me
  14. ^ Puerto Rico fly flishing in freshwater
  15. ^ Government of Puerto Rico. Departament of Transportation and Public Works. Public Announcements for March 4, 2010. Archived August 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  16. ^ Edificio Antonio Luchetti Archived February 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.