NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) chairman Dr Donovan Moxey said yesterday that the company had restored electricity to 95-97 percent of its customers on New Providence, although there are “small pockets” that sustained extensive damage as a result of Hurricane Isaias.
In a later statement, BPL advised the impact of vegetation on power lines has been a significant factor affecting the recovery process.
“We are working hard to get everyone back on as soon as possible,” Moxey told Eyewitness News.
“I would say we have probably restored 95-97 percent of our customers but there are certain pockets that still have outages because they have extensive damages. Teams have been going in and repairing these small pockets.”
Moxey noted that while the company has made significant investments toward improving its generation capacity woes, it remains challenged on the transmission and distribution side.
“When you look at these systems and components specific to the transformers, relays and other components, many of these components haven’t been updated, years,” he said.
“That’s what we are working on now. We are repairing a number of older components damaged by the storm. Those are things where investment is required. Until we can, we have to do everything we can to keep the infrastructure we have running.”
Moxey noted that a significant upgrade to the transmission and distribution system would require tens of millions of dollars.
“That’s one of the reasons why we did the rate reduction bond. It requires investment,” he said.
“If we tried to do that organically it would take a very long time. That is one of the key reasons why we did the rate reduction bond and that is something that we hope to have done by the end of the year.”
In a later statement, BPL advised teams have ramped up efforts against the backdrop of a national lockdown.
“Teams are working up to midnight, with other teams working through the night to return power to the final pockets of customers,” read the statement.
“It is possible that some individual consumers or very small pockets may remain off overnight, however.”
It continued: “BPL teams continue to report that a significant factor in the time of the recovery process is the impact of vegetation on power lines. Customers are reminded to not plant trees under power lines or where they can grow into power lines, so that they do not grow into the lines and impact power supply for customers and neighbourhoods.
“Customers are reminded that trees on their property are their responsibility and are asked to ensure that those trees do not impact the nearby power lines.”
As of 10PM, BPL advised its areas of focus for restoration were:
- Carmichael (MORE 94)
- Firetrail West
- East Street North
- East Street South
- Blue Hills Heights
- Fox Hill (two areas)
- Hard Hill Ave.
- Ethel St.
- Adderley St. (Conliffe’s Bakery)
- Englerston (Washington, Podoleo)
On the Family Islands, BPL advised South Abaco was fully restored at 8pm, with the exception of Winding Bay.
As of 8.30pm, a T&D crew was at work in Central Marsh Harbour.