BPL’s new plant would allow consumers to “kiss load shedding goodbye”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As power cuts persisted throughout areas of New Providence over the weekend, many are looking forward to the construction of Bahamas Power and Light’s new power plant at Clifton Pier, and the installation of seven new generators from the Finnish Wartsila Technology Group.

On Friday past, BPL’s Director of Public Relations, Quincy Parker, said once the new power plant is installed, load shedding could be a thing of the past.

“That’s why we are so excited about Station A, because it should allow us to be able to kiss load shedding goodbye,” Parker said. But it’s a promise BPL executives have made every year leading up to the summer months, and on Friday, Parker said that with the construction of a new plant, this promise may be fulfilled. He added, however, that his declaration could not be written in stone, considering that load shedding cannot always be controlled.

“Load Shedding does happen because of interrupted sessions in your system,” Parker explained. “Even if we have a full redundancy all across the system, if there is something that happens that we can’t prevent we have to load shed.”

Last summer, BPL lost two of its generators in a fire at the plant.

Parker said while they are preparing for station A and its debut at the end of September, they have affixed an old generator to remove some of the pressure off already stressed generators.

He also mentioned that when the new Station A plant is installed, Bahamians can expect an immediate decrease on electricity bills . He was unable to confirm, however, if the decrease will be reflected right away.

The last major load shedding exercise of BPL occurred on Friday past, when the media was advised that due to an engine failure at its Blue Hills Power Station, the area of Fort Charlotte was offline as well as the West Bay Street area, Fox Hill Road, Prince Charles East, Spanse Investment, Williams Lane, Bernard Road and East Street South.

BPL also reported an island-wide outage on the island of Mayaguana on Friday, stating that all 190 customers were affected when a lightning storm affection its generation and distribution systems.

Several areas in the capital also experienced power outages on Saturday, however no statement was released from BPL to give an explanation of these cuts.

Meanwhile, the seven new multi-fuel engines for Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) which arrived in the capital earlier this month from Finland, have been safely transported from Arawak Cay Port to Clifton Pier.

The new engines are expected to remove dependence on rental generators and place BPL on a path to energy security.

The new engines have the capability of burning heavy fuel oil, light fuel oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).