By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
THREE Bahamas Power and Light generators providing nearly 70 megawatts of power to thousands of households in New Providence are offline, with one asset needing at least a month for repairs, The Tribune understands.
This means that it could be another four weeks before consumers experience some normalcy in their power supply. While 24 megawatts of the 25 megawatts from rental Agrekko units have assisted with the generation shortfall, it has done little to disrupt extended periods of load shedding.
Irate customers told The Tribune yesterday they have had enough.
“I have lost 13 ceiling fans because we have one in every room. I have lost my fridge. I have lost my water pump. I have lost four of the old-fashioned air conditioning units,” said one Blair resident who did not want to be named.
“This is ridiculous. It has been twice in one day. When I was leaving home at 8.20am to take my grandchildren to summer camp it went off and did not come on again until about 11.50am. Now I just got home to fix dinner and it is off again.
“I might as well say it, they are going to cause someone to be killed,” the angry resident said.
Another customer said she could not understand why certain areas had faced several power cuts in one day. She questioned whether the load shedding was being split evenly.
In a statement this week, BPL said it continues to vigorously pursue all avenues to address obstacles as extended load-shedding periods continued in New Providence last night.
The utility provider apologised for its inability to offer the service it is paid to give each month.
“The Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd wishes to apologise to our customers for the power outages of this past weekend,” the company said in a statement released Tuesday. “We recognise the inconvenience such outages cause to our community, and we are working diligently to address the issues raised by ageing infrastructure and a transmission and distribution grid in need of an upgrade.
“While we are still investigating the causes for the outages, we can confirm that three of our major generation assets were out of service, which exacerbated the challenges we are facing during the summer months. The failure of these assets extended the periods of load shedding which we were forced to undertake. BPL management would like to thank the generation team for their continuing hard and brilliant work as they seek to return these assets to the grid.
“We would like to assure our customers that we are vigorously pursuing every available course of action to address these obstacles, in particular the rate reduction bond process, which will allow BPL to access a much-needed capital infusion at this critical time in our ongoing development.
“We take this moment to look forward to the completion of the 132-megawatt power plant at Station A before the end of the year. The ability of the new station to provide base load generation will allow us to address some of the issues mentioned earlier, and will help BPL provide stable, reliable electricity to our customers in a safe and more affordable manner.”
Following this statement, BPL released several load shedding announcements yesterday.
Many areas were affected in the early morning hours when customers were preparing to head to their jobs. BPL said the power would be disrupted beginning at 8.30am.
Another round of power cuts was announced and planned for 9.25am to 12.25pm.
Some residents reported load shedding last night.
Power cuts have been occurring this year as far back as mid-April and regular load shedding since June 19; BPL has been unable to definitively say when the situation is expected to get better however some officials have said to expect power cuts until October or November.