System failure forces island-wide blackout on New Providence

System failure forces island-wide blackout on New Providence
BPL Clifton Pier plant (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) said a system failure at its Clifton Pier Power Station A led to an island-wide blackout in New Providence yesterday afternoon.

Customers lost power shortly after 1pm due to the failure, which saw six engines go offline.

The power company advised that all customers affected by the island-wide outage that occurred at 1:16pm had their power restored by shortly after 4pm.

“The mitigation systems were unable to deal with the sudden, unexpected loss of half the generation on the grid, which led to an islandwide outage,” BPL said.

“Our team went to work immediately to correct the issues and within an hour, by 2.06pm, had restored power to the first set of customers.”

While parts of New Providence had less than two hours of disruption in power supply, some residents in the Prince Charles Drive area reported outages as early as 3am.

BPL advised members of the media that the main cable for the area had been burnt and there were some downed lines in the area. The matter was being addressed.

The island-wide outage caused some interruption to businesses and services.

Road Traffic at the stadium closed down shortly after 2pm as a result of the power outage. The services were discontinued until Monday.

Several people who were waiting for service at the department expressed frustration with the closure, calling in an inconvenience.

Al Symonette, a construction worker, who sought to renew his driver’s license, said he along with several other people were turned away yesterday.

Symonette said they were told that it was closed because the building had no power.

He said he couldn’t understand why the department was not properly prepared, when, “I’m looking at millions of dollars worth of solar panels on the outside”.

Symonette said he does not look forward to making the drive from out west back to road traffic on Monday, where he more than likely expects to wait again.