Mechanical difficulties force BPL emergency load shedding

Mechanical difficulties force BPL emergency load shedding
BPL Headquarters

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) announced yesterday that it had to conduct emergency load shedding on New Providence after experiencing “mechanical difficulties” at the Clifton Pier Power Plant.

According to a statement released on its Facebook page, the outage started around 9.10am and lasted about 30 minutes.

“An engine at our Clifton Pier Power Station suffered an unexpected component failure which required that we take that engine offline,” BPL said.

“The result was that customers in the affected areas were without power while we sorted the matter out.”

The company once again apologized for the inconvenience caused.

The challenges come just two months after Station A at the Clifton Pier Power Station was brought online and reportedly providing power to the grid.

The 130 megawatt (MW) power plant features seven state-of-the-art Wӓrtsilӓ 50DF tri-fuel engines.

The incident also comes as BPL consumers brace for a temporary increase in their electricity bills of about $20-$30 per month due to the government’s electricity rate reduction bond passed in Parliament late last year.

BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey has said the company’s strategic turnaround plan would bring an end to load-shedding – a promise he has made previously.

In March 2019, BPL signed a $95 million contract with Finnish technology group Wärtsilä to install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at the Clifton Pier site.

Additionally, that project will also receive $70 million of the proceeds from the rate reduction bond to fund its expansion.

The second phase of the plant, which will bring an additional 90 megawatts of capacity online for a total of 222 megawatts, is expected to be on stream by 2021.

Additionally, some $27 million of additional non-hurricane related spending was used for the acquisition of a turbine generation plant for the Blue Hills power plant.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said the spending was “in line with the government’s move to a more resilience-based economic strategy”.