Bannister doesn’t expect any outages due to generation capacity

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday that Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) is not experiencing the kind of generation challenges encountered last summer, but that the recent outages some clients recently experienced are due to other challenges.

Speaking to reporters outside the Churchill Building, Bannister said BPL does not expect to have any generation issues this summer and that it would work as best it could to resolve any other challenges that may arise.

“There was a challenge a little over a week ago where BPL was energizing a new substation in the Gladstone Road area and employees in BPL made a mistake,” he said.

“And I am so glad that they are alive today because they made a mistake that could have cost them their lives. And so that challenge caused some outages in the west and in Skyline.

“Then, shortly after that, a contractor who was actually working out in that area was doing some works, some road works, impacted the cable, a BPL cable.

“That contractor didn’t work for BPL, that contractor was doing private work and that has caused some outages. But the outages that BPL has had has not been related to generation.

“Last year June this time, we were having major outages everywhere. We have not seen those outages. I don’t anticipate we’re going to have generation outages.”

New Providence was hit with rolling blackouts last summer due to load shedding under peak demand.

Since then, the utility company has increased its generation capacity by adding megawatts to the island’s grid.

An island-wide blackout last month was caused by a “short in the system”, and an outage for clients in the western district of the island on Monday night was a result of a circuit trip, according to BPL.

Bannister continued, “If we have outages, they may be the same kinds of challenges that we have had recently and BPL will work to deal with those outages.

“BPL does have distribution challenges and transmission challenges, and they are working with those and they’re bringing consultants in to continue to work with those. But we believe that, for the most part, that we have dealt with the generation challenges right now for our immediate needs.”

BPL CEO Whitney Heastie last month assured that the company is ready to handle the peak summer demand, and said that the company’s improvements are paying off.

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