Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello wants to turn the devastation left by Hurricane Maria seven months ago into an opportunity for residents of the U.S. territory.
While trying to restructure past financial troubles that were only exacerbated by the damaging storm, Rossello told CNBC on Wednesday he needs investment from public and private sources to help rebuild the island and update its "1950s energy grid."
Maria wiped out power to all of Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. It's taken months to get most of the island back online, but the grid remains vulnerable.
"Right now, we're putting the energy grid back up. We're about 98 percent of clients with energy," Rossello said on "Squawk Box," one week after a power line failure had plunged the entire island into darkness again. The governor has said he plans to privatize the bankrupt Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA.
"Puerto Rico already had antiquated energy systems. When the biggest devastating event in the modern history of the United States hit our island, we could anticipate that is was going to be a major disaster," he said. "We think we have a great opportunity to leapfrog into energy 2.0."