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Don't Blame Bpl – Illegal Dumping Caused Island-Wide Blackout

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

ILLEGAL dumping within close proximity to a Bahamas Power and Light transmission pole was yesterday blamed for an island-wide blackout, which impacted New Providence on Tuesday.

It caused volt lines to clash into each other thereby imposing a major fault on the transmission network.

Works Minister Desmond Bannister made the revelations yesterday in the House of Assembly, as he insisted the incident had nothing to with BPL nor its historic generation and transmission issues.

The incident could have very easily resulted in the illegal dumper being tragically “fried” Mr Bannister said, had he gone any closer to the electricity pole.

“At approximately 11.45am, New Providence experienced an island-wide outage that was not caused by our historic generation or transmission challenges. Specifically it was caused by someone who appears to have been engaged in illegal dumping,” the Carmichael MP told the House yesterday.

“Power in New Providence is facilitated by 132,000 volt lines between Clifton and Blue Hills Power Stations. These lines are located along easements that facilitate access.

“It is clear that yesterday a heavy-duty vehicle that was engaged in illegal dumping within the easement came too close to one of the transmission poles. The impact caused the 132,000 volt lines to clash into each other thereby imposing a major fault on the transmission network. The result was that generation at both stations tripped offline, thereby causing a total island wide outage.”

He continued: “Initial assessments on the network in preparation to restart the generators very quickly identified the Clifton Pier – Blue Hills line as the circuit which initiated the outage event. A follow up patrol by our line crews to ascertain the cause of the trouble located the damaged pole and dumped debris within our wayleaves, just east of Coral Harbour Road. The remainder of the line was checked and confirmed to be healthy by the team.”

Mr Bannister said once the impacted circuit was isolated, operations teams began the process of restoring the reminder of the network.

The first generator was put back online at the Blue Hills Power Station within 20 minutes of the outage, energising the network and the first set of customers were restored shortly thereafter, he said.

After two hours, 85 percent of customers had been restored. However the minister said at this point there was a delay in the restoration process while teams worked to restore the final generator and the remaining customers.

He said the final generator was restored at 4.03pm and all impacted by the island-wide outage were restored at 5pm.

A further outage was experienced in the Soldier Road area as a primary substation had to be isolated to rectify a high voltage cable termination.

He urged the general public against the practice of illegal dumping.

“While we were all inconvenienced yesterday, we are thankful that power was restored as quickly as possible. However this incident could have ended very tragically for the truck driver had this vehicle impacted that pole just inches from the actual point of impact and accordingly I am obliged to warn persons not to engage (in) this type of illegal conduct as they could be taking their lives into their hands,” Mr Bannister said yesterday.

This comes as Acting Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest said on Tuesday generators were on the way to Nassau from Grand Bahama to assist with the ongoing power generation situation.

Mr Turnquest said a fire in May at BPL’s Bimini facility that damaged two engines exacerbated challenges.

When this happened he said two engines which were being utilised in the capital were sent to Bimini to assist with issues there.

BPL has been grappling with generation issues this summer and began load shedding on June 19. Officials have said the situation will not likely improve until this fall.

Comments

BahamaRed 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Just looking to pass the blame around rather than take responsibility for the fact that BPL ain't shiiite. Shame on you Bannister for trying to place blame, just accept BPL is shiiite.

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joeblow 1 month, 2 weeks ago

It is foolish to expect a power company to consistently produce power in the Bahamas!

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yeahyasee 1 month, 2 weeks ago

LMAO...I wonder what the next excuse will be...

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Jetflt 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The SOB that is responsible for illegal dumping ought to have his ass locked up, but why is it even possible in today’s day and age that someone dumping trash illegally can cause an island wide power outage and risk getting fried. That to me is inconceivable but then again we’re in the Bahamas where anything is possible and you don’t have to dream big to make it happen!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Incompetent Bannister is once again being deliberately untruthful to us. Any qualified electrical engineer working for a properly run power company will tell you that power grid systems are intended to be equipped with standard power line separators for safety reasons as well as regionalized trip systems to prevent serious line faults from taking down the entire grid system. The trip systems are supposed to work on the same principle as the breaker switches found in our homes. A properly designed and equipped grid system avoids the entire power grid system being taken down by lightning strikes, fallen trees and, yes, even the kind of illegal dumping that Bannister is so quick to blame for the latest island wide outage.

Minnis must send Desmond Bannister the way of Brent Symonette before all hell breaks loose on New Providence Island. Both the chairman and the CEO of BPL should also be immediately dismissed as it is readily apparent they too are untruthful and grossly incompetent to say the least. And Mr. Minnis, please don't forget to keep a close watchful eye on our growing potable water problems lest most of us soon find ourselves without both electrical power and drinking water for long periods.

Never has the Bahamas had such an incompetent bunch of know nothing, do nothing bozos sitting in parliament with their only concern being the feathering of their own nests and the nests of their cronies, financial backers, family members, lovers and friends. Our country has been turned into a living hell for most struggling Bahamian families and businesses that can no longer make ends meet.

Enough is enough Mr. Minnis. Get off of your damn duff and at least attempt to do something meaningful for the people who elected you. Stop favouring your chosen few Mr. Minnis. You were elected PM to represent all of the Bahamian people to the best of your ability, and so far you have fallen well short of that most important task.

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DDK 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I am afraid the task is too monumental. The situation of chaos and corruption we find ourselves in took decades to grow into the complete monster it has become. Undoing it and turning our people into productive, competent members of society is no small task and will take more than is usually offered to the electorate to right it...........

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Craig 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well_mudda you are absolutely correct about how the electrical distribution system is supppsed to react to a fault, be it caused by a tree an illegal dumper or what ever the cause.

Bottom line, a single fault, and faults happen all the time in power distribution systems, causing the entire grid to go down reveals another major problem with BPL, the grid is very unstable. And this has very little to do generating capacity. In modern well designed and maintained grids, such faults will very rarely cause such an event.

Its obvious that Bannister is believing what the folks at BPL is feeding him. I can almost forgive the Minister after all he is not a technician, he must rely upon the "experts". What worries me is the very people at BPL who should know better probably believe these same excuses also.

This reveals the single biggest problem with BPL, extreme incompetance. These people should not be allowed near our expensive and critical national assets.

To the powers that be please stop buying these excuses and demand more. There is absolutely no reason in this modern world that our grid should be this unstable and unreliable

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Bahamianbychoice 1 month, 2 weeks ago

In the past year power insecurity has become critical. The impact to the GDP is immeasurable. When will the PM step in and dismiss the Minister, Board and Management. These actions are treasonous. Only reason I can think that why they have not been removed is because they need to cover up some level of corruption..just how high it goes remains to be seen. As we all suffer in the heat!!!!

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bogart 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Sovereign Bahamas nation seems can be made incapacitated ....taken over by jus dumping waste by a lamp pole by Coral Harbour.

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ReallyRUSure 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Years ago there was a comment in "Why You Vex" where that author stated - "If a bird flying over South Ocean pees on a wire, the entire island suffers a power outage". 20 years later and nothing has changed!

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John 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Why don’t these jackasses just shut up and keep quiet rather than trying to put an idiotic and totally unbelievable spin on gross incompetence and maybe even a direct and concerted effort to keep Bahamians in the dark fraustrated, losing money in their businesses, throwing away spoiled goods and medicines and having to buy and replace damaged appliances and equipment. The enemy is upon this nation and the devil is a liar and he will surely be defeated. Whether he’s st BPL in the VAT or whatever form he takes on. BPL your hands are dirty and your soul is not clean and that is why you so love the darkness. But out of darkness light was created.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And you still don't think Minnis is the pinacle of the problem. LMAO

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bcitizen 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Don't worry next week we can celebrate lndependence. D average schools with no books and toilet paper, unreliable power, water problems, no soap and toilet paper in the airports, children's ward in pmh begging the public for donations, and the list goes on but, take heart and celebrate owning a hotel in Grand Bahama and massive tax breaks and give aways for Disneys 2nd private cruise port. Oh and a couple hundred grand so the prisoners can build their own beds.

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Bonefishpete 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Look on the bright side. Dumping trash in the bush keeps the landfill fires down.

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