BPL anticipates load shedding until fall; company operating at energy shortfall
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday slammed Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) and the Minnis administration for what he said has been “mismanagement, corruption and a lack of accountability and transparency.”
Davis made the statement at a press conference at the PLP’s headquarters on Farrington Road.
The PLP leader lamented the prime minister’s silence during what he said is a “national energy crisis.”
“The prime minister’s mishandling of BPL is breathtaking,” Davis said.
“His stone silence and deflection in the face of public fallout is resulting in a precipitous deterioration in public confidence in his administration.”
Davis, the former minister of works with ministerial responsibility for BPL, said under a PLP administration, BPL would have been handled differently.
Yesterday, BPL CEO Whitney Heastie indicated that the power company will not offer any compensation to consumers for the persistent outages endured in recent months, noting that the company only charges for power used, and not when the power is off.
Davis said, “A PLP government would have been empathetic to the concerns of its people and would have addressed this matter to ensure that consumers would be put in a position as close as possible to what they would have been, had the power not been off.”
He called on Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to step up and address the Bahamian people.
He also said the prime minister should review the effectiveness BPL’s current executive team.
“The prime minister must act, not just because of political expediency, but because it is his duty to protect the well-being and best interest of the Bahamian people,” Davis told the media.
“After all of the touring and explanations by BPL, the power is still off and there is no end in sight to the power cuts.
“The broader issues of political cronyism, ineptitude, accountability in the general stewardship of public assets in the public’s interest strike at the core, the root and source of this national energy crisis.”
Davis continued, “This current BPL crisis is unwittingly a Hubert Minnis construct; an orchestrated crisis simply because he failed to place the interests of the Bahamian people above his… hidden, personal and political agendas.”
During a press conference at BPL’s Clifton Pier Power Station, Heastie revealed that the power company has suffered from a generation shortfall.
This has forced the company to load shed, according to officials, who said 250-megawatts is required to supply power to New Providence, but only 210-megawatts is being produced.
“That 210 megawatts are made up of 105-megawatts from the rental units from Aggreko; 35-megawatts from Clifton’s Station B and another 70-megawatts from our Blue Hills Power Plant,” Heastie said.
“Our 40-megawatt shortfall of what is required is what has led to the load shedding that we are currently experiencing.
“We are working feverishly on returning two generators at our Blue Hills Power Station that will make up this shortfall.
“However, we cannot guarantee that other units will not fail and return us to load shedding as we have no excess capacity.”
BPL officials expect load shedding to persist until fall of this year.
Heastie added, “As we get deeper into the fall the demand will drop-off, and so will the need for load shedding.”