A senior hotelier said that his property has had to assist Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) to meet its generation demands by going off-grid to help lessen the load.
Senior Vice President of Baha Mar Robert Sands said the resort has, like many other businesses, been negatively impacted by BPL’s frequent load shedding exercises, but the property is working with the beleaguered power company.
“Yes, we are,” Sands told Guardian Business when asked if it’s being negatively impacted.
“The caveat, however, is that we have a very good communication relationship with BPL, so we do get advanced warning so we can do some preparation in the event of load shedding. That has been somewhat helpful. We are also fortunate that we have the ability to switch to our standby generation and from time to time we assist BPL by going off the grid, so that they can minimize their disruptions in other communities.”
On Sunday, BPL Chief Executive Officer Whitney Heastie said the power company was running on 210 megawatts of generation and needs 250 megawatts in order to meet the summer demand.
With a 40-megawatt shortfall and no spare capacity, the BPL executive said there is no timeline for the end of load shedding.
Sands said Baha Mar remains “hopeful that we are at the back end of this and that some relief is in sight”.
“But notwithstanding that, the off-on, off-on, obviously still has implications for the properties in terms of damage to very technical equipment, plant machinery and ongoing nuisances, and guests’ concerns and complaints from time to time,” he said.
“With the advance notice we are able to switch over to our standby generation with minimal disruption in terms of guest interfacing and customers. So yes, while compensation is an issue, we have not been impacted as greatly as others may have been in this area.
“The financial impact is certainly the loss and replacement of very sensitive equipment, whether it be computers, boards, plant machinery and just wear and tear on even generating plants, et cetera.”
Last week Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) President Carlton Russell said he was concerned about the negative impact of load shedding on the tourism industry.
He said he was worried that many guests may decide to stay away from the country.