BPL to issue RFP for renewable energy in a few weeks
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Despite extensive outages in three Family Islands between Saturday and Monday, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said yesterday that those issues have been resolved, and barring cataphoric failure or other unforeseen circumstances, the power provider expects relative stability.
BPL is currently engaged in significant maintenance exercises of its assets across the nation.
Residents in Acklins, Abaco and Bimini were affected as the power provider experienced mechanical difficulties and equipment failure on those islands, requiring BPL to shift around its assets.
“The difficulty is of course because the islands are as far-flung as they are and because of the expense of keeping full maintenance staff on all of the islands, there is occasionally a circumstance where, such as in Acklins, you need to bring someone else in to help with the repairs and those sorts of things,” Parker told Eyewitness News Online.
“The situations have been resolved at this time and barring cataphoric failure or unforeseen circumstances we should be okay.”
Scores of customers on Bimini were without power for nearly two hours Sunday, the result of an island-wide outage around 10 a.m.
BPL advised customers that it was expected to restore power by 10:45 a.m.
However, power was returned to the island just before noon.
Meanwhile, some customers in Acklins were left without electricity for over 18 hours.
BPL reported power loss in Spring Point, Acklins, around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
The power company estimated power would be restored around 2:00 p.m.
In a statement Sunday evening, BPL said service had been restored to south Acklins, and power was expected to be restored to the northern part of the island shortly thereafter.
As of 10 p.m., however, power had yet to be fully restored.
“BPL Acklins reporting mechanical difficulties have delayed repairs and the island is expected to be fully restored by 10:30 p.m.,” BPL said on its Facebook page.
In an update on Monday, the power company advised that power was fully restored at 5:00 a.m.
Hope Town and Man-O-War Cay, Abaco, were also left without power around 1:00 p.m. Saturday.
While power was restored to the Hope Town community within the hour, it would be several more hours before power was returned to residents in Man-O-Way Cay.
BPL attributed the outage to a cable fault.
Power was eventually returned around 4:00 p.m. Saturday, according to power provider.
Speaking to the ongoing maintenance effort yesterday, Parker pointed out that a lot of BPL’s equipment is near the end of its life cycle.
He said, “It’s really a testament to the skill on our engineers that they are able to keep the equipment in good working order”.
In November, BPL signed a memorandum of understanding with Shell to provide a new power plant at the Clifton Pier Power Station.
The government recently announced that Finnish corporation Wartsila will provide new power generation at Clifton at a cost of $95 million.
The power company is also gearing up to release in a matter of weeks a request for proposals for renewable energy, according to Parker.