Investigations have revealed that yesterday’s island-wide power outage was the result someone illegally dumping debris near a critical Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) line, according to Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.
BPL confirmed that the blackout began at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Bannister, who was speaking in the House of Assembly, said the outage “was not caused by our historic generation or our transmission challenges”.
“Specifically, it was caused by someone who appears to have been engaged in illegal dumping,” the minister said.
“Mr. Speaker, power is facilitated by 132,000-volt lines between the Clifton and Blue Hills’ power stations.”
He continued, “The lines are located along easements that facilitates access.
“It is clear that yesterday sir, a heavy-duty vehicle engaged in illegal dumping within the easement and came too close to one of the transmission poles.
“That impact caused the 132,000-volt lines to clash into each other, thereby imposing a major fault on the transmission network. The result was that generation at both power stations were tripped offline, thereby causing a total island outage.
“Initial assessments on the network, in preparing to restart the generators, very quickly identified Clifton Pier and the Blue Hills line as the circuit which initiated the outage event.”
Bannister said the damaged pole and debris are located on the eastern side of Coral Harbour Road.
“This incident could have ended very tragically for the truck driver had his vehicle impacted that pole just inches from the actual point of impact,” Bannister added.
He warned people against engaging in illegal conduct.
Eighty-five percent of BPL customers were back online within two hours of the incident, he said. Bannister said it took some time to restore electricity to the remaining customers.