Portions of NP off-grid after transmission fault trips generators

Portions of NP off-grid after transmission fault trips generators
Bahamas Power and Light's headquarters.

BPL: impact of Hurricane Dorian could play “major role” in generator repair timelines

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) said today that an apparent fault developed on one of its transmission lines servicing the Ernest Street primary substation, causing several generators to trip offline.

The power company said while those generators remain operational and were being restored to the system, a number of areas in New Providence were impacted.

“We are still investigating what caused the fault,” BPL said.

“Meanwhile, we have already restored supply to portions of eastern and southern New Providence and anticipate that the remainder of the customers will be returned to service by 4 p.m.

“We will update as soon as information is available.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”

As of 4:13 p.m., BPL said its team had returned most consumers to service,

In a follow-up statement, BPL said while the company continues to focus its efforts on two downed units at its Blue Hills Power Station, which comprise of a combined 44-megawatts of power, it remains vigilant of Hurricane Dorian, a Category 1 hurricane that could strengthen to a Category 3 or Category 4 within days.

“We are carefully watching the path of the storm since the weather could play a major role in the repair timetable for these outdoor units,” BPL said.

A specialist arrived on the island today to assist the local and international team address a setback that arose during the testing stage of the downed second unit.

Meanwhile, another specialist continues assessment on the first unit, according to BPL, which said work on both units entered the testing stages earlier this week after “around-the-clock effort from the local and international team in preparation for commissioning the units and returning them to service.”

While BPL had originally set a timeline of August 30 and September 6 for repairs of both units, those times were expected to be revised.

BPL has not advised on the new completion timelines and when the 40-megawatt generation shortfall could be made up.

“New, unforeseen problems that have arisen with each unit over the past two days, however, and as we noted in yesterday’s update, we have been forced to reassess our timelines,” the power provider noted.

“We therefore intend to issue the daily face sheet later this evening with updates after the specialists have had adequate time onsite at BHPS (Blue Hills Power Station).”

BPL has been consistently load shedding since June.

Acknowledging the power woes, predominantly in New Providence, represent an “crisis” Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis pledged to do whatever it takes to solve the issues at BPL.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said last Tuesday that no finances will be spared to find a short-term solution to the load shedding exercises that continue to plague residential and commercial consumers on New Providence.

As of 10 a.m. BPL Director of Communications Quincy Parker said that load shedding may not begin this morning, if at all.

He said that depends on the demand put on the grid.