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BPL: Boat propellers damaged Harbour Isl. cables triggering outage

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) said yesterday that last week’s “serious power supply issues” on Harbour Island were the result of damage to undersea cables, which provide power to the island.

During the Christmas period, the island faced significant power challenges over 48 hours.

BPL said an investigation into the outage “confirmed that undersea cables connecting Harbour Island at the Three Island Dock site were damaged by boat propellers”.

“There are two circuits connecting Harbour Island to mainland Eleuthera at the Three Island Dock crossing, either of which can maintain the supply to Harbour Island,” the power company said.

“Each circuit is made up of three individual cables. Our investigations have confirmed that four cables were damaged in the incident, effectively knocking out both circuits.”

BPL said yesterday three of the damaged cables were already repaired thus “allowing the return of one of the circuits to service”.

It said the fourth cable was damaged in “multiple locations and repairs are ongoing”.

“Both the cables and on-island generation are used to supply Harbour Island,” BPL said.

“However, because the generators (rentals) had tripped offline due to mechanical defects – as we have reported – when the cables were damaged it created an unavoidable outage.

“Additionally, because the incident was not immediately reported to BPL, it took some time for teams to locate the damage to the undersea cables and execute the repairs.”

“The damage to the cables, and the fact that the rental generators had failed due to mechanical defects, caused serious power supply issues on the island for a period of over 48 hours.”

BPL said that a new cable, which was installed at the Whale Point/South Barr crossing, was used to restore power to portions of the island. The usage of this cable allowed BPL to restore partial power to the island, the power company said.

It also noted that power was fully restored by 5 p.m. on Boxing Day.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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