Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019
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BPL rental units not fully online

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) is having difficulty bringing all of its new rental units online, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said yesterday.

Twenty megawatts of new rental generation was supposed to be in use by June 30 to provide relief after weeks of load shedding across New Providence, which has left residents and businesses without electricity for hours at a time.

However, Parker said only 17 megawatts of the new generation are installed and online.

According to Parker, BPL currently spends around $2 million each month on rental units from Aggreko, which the company has accumulated over many years. He said that BPL is bringing in 5 more megawatts for New Providence.

Parker noted that the additional units are necessary because some rental units originally intended for New Providence were sent to Bimini after a fire there caused significant damage to the plant and led to generation issues.

“Initially it was 25 megawatts, but due to issues on the island, five megawatts was sent to Bimini, so 20 megawatts [were] left for New Providence,” he said.

“We are bringing in an additional five to replace what was sent elsewhere. But of the 20 megawatts of new rentals, [17] are installed.”

He added, “[There are] problems bringing the remaining units online.”

The comments came after an island-wide power outage on New Providence on Tuesday, which Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said was the result of someone illegally dumping debris near a critical BPL transmission pole.

Moreover, BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey has said that the discontinuation of old generator parts has made it challenging to maintain and repair the power company’s aging equipment.

However, Moxey last week insisted that there is no crisis at the power company.

Parker said BPL is working to address the issues with the rental generation.

“We are working with our partners to bring all the units online as safely and swiftly as possible,” he said.

BPL has historically struggled to meet the increased demand for electricity on New Providence during the summer months.

Last September, several fires caused extensive damage to the Clifton Pier Power Station.

BPL announced in March that Finnish technology group Wartsila will install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at Clifton at a cost of $95 million to increase the generation capacity on New Providence.

Moxey has indicated that while the installation of rental generation will provide some relief from the outages, load shedding could be possible until the installation of that new plant is complete.

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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