Business

BPL rate reduction bond, station D delayed amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) to delay the placement of its rate reduction bond, which will force the company to delay the construction of station D at its Clifton Pier facility, meaning the delay of 100 megawatts of new power.

BPL’s Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker, who was a guest on Guardian Radio’s Morning Blend Tuesday, revealed that construction will be delayed and the station should have broken ground in April, when the country was in the throes of its first surge of COVID-19 cases.

Parker said for now BPL is in a “holding pattern” until markets are favorable enough for the placement of its $600 million bond.

“That station (D), was initially supposed to be built out of the bond funding,” Parker said.

“Since we are delayed going out the bond, then that automatically pushes the timeline for station D back. 

“Until such time as we have a better idea of the bond timing, there is not really a timeline for station D that we are willing to be committed to.”

Parker said the use of the bond money continues to be redefined, even as the company continues its negotiations with Shell North America for a power purchase agreement and the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant.

Meantime, the company continues to pursue its renewable energy endeavors through its Ragged Island solar project, which Parker said is soon to have its battery storage units in place.

The island’s micro solar array was commissioned at the end of last year.

“The battery energy storage solution is under construction at the Ragged Island power plant,” said Parker.

“At the moment it’s been delayed by the problems with immigration due to COVID-19. But once it is complete and tied in, that will be supplying about 100 percent of Ragged Island’s power entirely through a solar microgrid for the first time in the country’s history.”

He added that a solar microgrid is also being installed in Marsh Harbour to bolster power to the government complex and critical infrastructure surrounding that complex. In addition, request for proposals are being finalized for solar projects on Eleuthera, Andros and Inagua.

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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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