This will be the last summer of load shedding, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Executive Director Patrick Rollins said yesterday.
His comments came less than two weeks after BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said the company was not expecting any load shedding this summer.
“This will be our last summer of any kind of issues,” Rollins said.
BPL announced last month that Finnish
technology group Wartsila will install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at a cost of $95 million.
Rollins said the plant will not be in use until the end of this summer, but that the company hopes to minimize load shedding until then.
“…But it’s difficult with old equipment,” he said.
“If something fails you may experience load shedding, but we will try to keep that to a minimum.”
On Monday, island-wide load shedding took place on New Providence.
While the power company said in a statement that the exercise ended around 5 p.m. on the same day, generation issues have continued throughout the week.
Rollins attributed the recent issues to equipment failure and said that the power company lost another generator recently.
“On Monday we had some equipment failure,” he said.
“…A few weeks ago we lost a generator and we can’t find that part for it. So, we have to get some more rental generation for the summer. We are doing our best to minimize load shedding.”
Rollins said the rental generators, which will provide 25 megawatts of electricity, are expected to arrive by the end of May, but he would not comment on how much they will cost the company.
Hours after Rollins’ comments, BPL announced that it was load shedding.
“BPL control has reported a generation shortage,” BPL said on its Facebook page.
“Expect load shedding in a two hour rotation.”
The affected areas included Baillou Hill Road South, East Street South, Baha Mar, The Melia, Sir Lynden Pindling Estates, Skyline Drive, Village Road, Winton and the Jerome Avenue area.
BPL conducted a number of load-shedding exercises last year after several fires caused significant damage at the company’s Clifton Pier plant.
The power company has historically struggled to keep up with an increased demand for electricity on New Providence during summer months.
However, Moxey said last week that the company did not expect that to be an issue this year.
“We don’t expect any load shedding,” he said.
“There are several generation assets that we’re looking to make sure that we maintain properly [and] appropriately so that we will be ready for the summer.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish