Mechanical failure blamed for BPL major early morning outage

Mechanical failure blamed for BPL major early morning outage
BPL technician services power line (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Several engines tripped offline at the Clifton Pier Power Station due to a mechanical failure, according to Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).

The failure resulted in power interruptions in a number of areas that began at 1.39am.

BPL said those engines were returned to service at 2.23am, following the correction of that failure.

All customer supplies interrupted as a result of this trip were reportedly restored.

“BPL wishes to state that this was not a load shedding incident,” read a statement.

“The company has more than sufficient generation capacity to meet the present and anticipated load demand.

“Even so, transient mechanical failures of the kind experienced early this morning still happen, particularly in island-configured systems like ours where we are not tied into an infinite grid.

“In such systems as ours, when a generator trips offline, it is often necessary to temporarily remove customer load from the grid to prevent a widespread outage.”

The power company added: “That is what occurred this morning, and should not be confused with load shedding.”

There have been several intermittent outages, predominantly in eastern New Providence, over the last week.

As it relates to generation capacity, BPL has said demand for power peaked at around 220 megawatts in New Providence on average last week.

BPL Clifton Pier plant (FILE PHOTO)

BPL has installed generation capacity of over 403 megawatts, of which 320 megawatts is active.

According to BPL officials,  the record peak demand was  248 megawatts in 2017.

Last year, BPL installed seven new Wartsila engines at its Clifton Pier Power Station, adding 132 megawatts of power to the grid, in addition to an engine at its Blue Hills Power Station.

The engines were brought online in December.