Rental generators at BPL to cost addtl. $450,000 per month

No timeline on when remaining rental units to be installed in NP

The additional rental generation being supplied to Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) by Aggreko to shore up its generation capacity amid a shortfall will cost the power provider an additional $450,000, according to BPL Director of Communications Quincy Parker.

At current, BPL rents over 60 megawatts of rental units at $2 million per month.

Those rental generators have been in use for years at both the Blue Hills Power Station and the Clifton Pier Power Station.

BPL has been load shedding for over two weeks.

Those exercises were exacerbated late last month after BPL temporarily lost two of its generators.

The loss “extended the times and multiplied the number of outages experienced across the island”.

Amid the prolonged outages, BPL Chairman Donovan Moxey announced that rental units intended to supplement the increase demand on the grid and provide relief would be installed by the end of last week.

He said notwithstanding the rental generation, load shedding may still be possible until October, when the $95 million, 132-megawatt engine power plant at Clifton is in use.

Finnish technology group Wartsila will install the engines, which arrived in New Providence last month.

New Providence was expected to receive 25 megawatts of rental generation.

However, Parker yesterday that due to challenges in Bimini, five megawatts of rental units was sent to that island, leaving 20 megawatts for New Providence.

Two engines were damaged at BPL’s power station in Alice Town, Bimini, as a result of a fire.

“We are bringing in an additional five to replace what was sent elsewhere,” he said.

“But, of the 20 megawatts of new rentals, 14 [megawatts] is installed.”

New Providence was left powerless Tuesday with residents reported outages for over five hours.

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister later revealed in Parliament that the island-wide blackout was the result of heavy-duty vehicle, being operate by some who was illegally dumping, colliding with a lamp pole, which resulted in damage to a 132,000 volt line.

When asked last week about the remaining new rental generations expected to supplement another 10 megawatts of power, Parker said, “They will be up and running soon, but I cannot give you a specific timeframe yet for that. As soon as I can, I will.”

The Utilities Regulations and Competition Authority (URCA) has said it will investigate the recent power outages as a “high priority”.