PM commits addtl. “emergency” resources to remedy generation shortfall
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Despite repeated public statements that the energy situation in The Bahamas had not reached crisis, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) yesterday acknowledged the excessive load shedding and grid strain has created “what amounts to a crisis” in terms of the impact on its consumers in New Providence.
“Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr. The Most Hon. Hubert Minnis toured both the Clifton Pier and Blue Hills Power Plants with BPL CEO Whitney Heastie to see firsthand what the utility is doing to address its problems,” BPL said in a statement.
“We have heard the prime minister and we understand and agree with him about how this situation is impacting and affecting the public and our customers.
“We are continuing our work to fix the problems and bring more generation online as quickly as possible. We will continue to update the public on our efforts each day.
“While we still face a deficit of up to 40-megawatts of power during peak energy consumption, our teams of local and international partners have been focusing extraordinary effort on several aging generation units presently out of service that can provide a combination of the needed power when they are up and running.”
In a statement Sunday, Minnis admitted that the situation being faced by Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) is a crisis, despite assertions from the minister of public works and BPL officials that the situation had not reached that stage.
The prime minister said while the energy community may not accept the definition or term, when the public is prevented from accessing basic, essential needs such as cooking due to extensive power outages, “this is a crisis”
He said yesterday that while he is satisfied BPL is executing plans to address the situation, the government will pump additional funds into the power company where needed given the “emergency situation”.
The prime minister toured both of BPL’s major power plants Sunday with BPL CEO Whitney Heastie.
BPL said it had a 35-megawatt generation shortage Monday.
It anticipated a 30-megawatt shortfall today. Load shedding is expected to continue in three-hour intervals.
The power company’s team and an international energy firm continues to work on two generation units at the Blue Hills power plant to restore 44-megawatts of unavailable power.
According to BPL, the first two phases of work on a 23-megawatt unit has been completed.
The generator experienced a failure of an internal mechanical component.
The power provider estimated it could be back online in seven to 10 days.
Meanwhile, work on a 21-megawatt generator is expected to take another three weeks.
Its starting diesel engines was replaced, and the team began connecting the accessory cables to the unit.