‘We’re not thrilled’

Atlantis’ Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Ed Fields said yesterday that even though the resort has been able to schedule some of its outages and utilize its generators to offset Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) constant load shedding, the resort has to be cautious not to damage its generators.

“Like everyone else, we’re not thrilled with the situation, but we have been working with BPL to come off the grid so that they can lend more capacity to the residential component and to the rest of the island,” Fields told The Nassau Guardian.

“So, we have been scheduling when we come off and go onto our generators.

“Of course, the problem is our generators are not designed like a power plant’s generators are, so it can’t run continuously without causing any long term damage. So, we have to be cautious that we can do this without hurting our equipment.

“The other thing, of course, is there are sometimes unplanned or unscheduled cuts that BPL is not aware is going to happen. And then what that does is it then puts some strain on our equipment. The most important thing is that we have to, oftentimes, reboot some of our systems, so it can be some short-term inconvenience for our guests.

“But essentially, we are running smoothly.

“It is a trying time for everyone and all of us, whether it is Atlantis or the individual consumer, would like to see this thing fixed once and for all.”

For nearly two months, communities on New Providence have been rocked with hours-long periods of blackouts as part of BPL’s load shedding exercise.

BPL officials have said that the company cannot guarantee when the outages will end.

BPL CEO Whitney Heastie said there is no timeline for the end of load shedding, noting that the power company is “sitting on the edge every day”.

It remains unclear when a 20-megawatt generator at the Blue Hills Power Station that was supposed to be returned online Wednesday night will return to service.

Fields noted yesterday that a silver lining to the current power situation is that a long-term solution can now be derived.

Asked whether the load shedding has been costly to the resort, Fields continued, “There is something called ‘the gap’ where you look at getting credit. You know, they’ve done it in the past where there’s some credit program.

“Our issue is to keep our guests happy and to have a constant power supply and we are working with BPL to make it happen.

“Yes, there’s a cost to that and again we can only hope that this is a short-term scenario. Certainly, this is not something one would want to be the standard operating procedure, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

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Sloan Smith

Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas. Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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