BPL crafts mid-range strategic plan

Five-year roadmap puts focus on renewable energy conversions

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) hopes to install 8.5 megawatts of solar energy production facilities across Abaco and the Family Islands by fall 2022 and convert Family Island power generation stations to facilities that can be powered by liquid natural gas (LNG) by 2023, at the latest, according to the company’s strategic plan seen by Guardian Business.

Those upgrades hinge, though, on BPL’s ability to secure its half-billion-dollar rate reduction bond, which the company hopes to secure before the end of the year, the company explained in the plan.

“We are at a state of readiness on the rate reduction bond,” the strategic plan reads.

“Once the government authorizes the action, we are ready to go out to the market immediately, and we anticipate – all things being equal – that we will be able to close the bond by December 2021.”

BPL’s Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said recently that he hopes the bond issue is at the top of government’s agenda when Parliament reconvenes after the upcoming general election.

The election is set for September 16. The next session of Parliament will start on October 6.

The BPL strategic plan, which is called “Power2Prosper,” outlines the company’s goals from 2020 to 2025, with the company’s board highlighting five strategies it hopes to implement by 2025, one of which includes the placement of the bond.

The other four are the implementation of automated metering; renewable energy implementation on New Providence and the Family Islands; a change in customers’ perception of the company; and a marked improvement in the supply of electricity.

Again, many of those changes rest squarely in the success of BPL’s bond placement.

In the plan, the company points out that the bond will allow for the building of Station D, which will house 100 megawatts of power; the launch of smart metering; the installation of solar on the Family Islands; the Family Island LNG conversion; major upgrades to BPL’s outdated transmission and distribution system; and a battery energy storage solution for New Providence.

BPL said in the plan that it remains committed to implementing a power generation mix that includes 30 percent renewable energy by 2030, and to further reducing the cost of energy along the way.

“Our future means stable generation with minimal outages, and lower and more stable costs for energy through deployment of LNG and renewable energy, which has the added bonus of reduced dependence on the more expensive diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO),” the plan reads.

“Equally important, and perhaps more so in the long run, BPL’s future hinges on better and more widespread energy conservation. Our focus on automation, which will put unprecedented control of energy consumption in our consumers’ hands, will go hand in hand with our message of conservation to create an energy-conscious society.

“The fact is that energy efficiency is more cost-effective than building a new power plant, and it can help reduce costs in times of high electricity demand.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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