While the government is moving to improve Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) generation through the installation of new generators in the coming months, Jeffrey Beckles, chief executive officer of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC), said yesterday that the conversation about a long-term solution to reliable power, that includes renewable energy, still needs to happen.
Meantime Deborah Deal, the BCCEC chairperson for environmental matters, also said yesterday that questions still linger on the status of remediation efforts at BPL’s Clifton power station, where oil leaked into the ground for years, eventually spilling out into the ocean. She said she has been told that the remediation has begun.
“We have not been able find out where the RFP (request for proposal) is for the remediation,” said Deal.
Both BCCEC executives gave their comments during a press conference on the BCCEC’s upcoming Bahamas Energy Security Forum.
Beckles said the chamber understands the urgency of fixing power generation on the island, and therefore understands why the government and BPL might have moved forward so quickly on the installation of the 132 megawatts of power at Clifton. He said the problems with outages on New Providence have affected businesses and individuals for too long.
Deal contended that the public still requires information on the state of its power company and she admitted that the BCCEC often has to tread lightly in order to retain its seat at the table.
“We have to be careful when we are talking,” she said.
“We have to be able to stay at the table. And if we’re not staying at the table, we will not find out half the things that they do, and government needs to know that they can actually talk to us and we will not constantly be negative.”
She said she congratulates the government on the move to shore up power on New Providence, but is calling for more information on the processes.
Beckles said given that The Bahamas is only three months away from the beginning of the hurricane season, it is even more crucial for the government to begin bolstering power generation.