By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
MANY customers turned to Facebook to criticise the Bahamas Power and Light company on Friday for the power failure that left the western area of New Providence in darkness for more than ten hours Thursday night.
The outage affected West Bay Street between Compass Point and Bahamia West. Saffron Hills, Yuma Estates, Kisskadee Drive, Whispering Wind, Old Fort Bay and Pineapple Grove were all affected by the power outages, according to a post on social media by the company.
One customer said: “We have been nearly 12 hours without power and zero communication from BPL, no updates on their social media, no one is answering their phones and they don’t respond to messages. Before the PLP created this ridiculous management company, you couldn’t have told me that BEC could get worse.
"In general, it is absolutely inexcusable that in 2019, a country that purports to be civilised can’t keep the lights on. I don’t want to hear about lightning strikes and the rest of that nonsense. Where else in the world is that a satisfactory excuse for frequent power outages? And as always, the solution of ‘buy more generators’ is useless. Every administration has done this, but you see where we are today."
He added: “The fact is, we have a medieval power generation system that needs to be phased out and the country placed on a path to efficient and renewable energy, where households can generate their own power and feed it into the grid. But no one has the political will to do this. Instead of thinking outside the box and calling for would-be investors to give us cutting edge solutions to our power issues, we have just given Shell permission to build yet another dirty and inefficient diesel and bunker C burning power plant (with a little LNG thrown in there for show) and so it will be more of the same for at least 20 years.”
Another customer said: "My power is still off from last night...and you’re telling me it won’t be on (until) noon? What kind of incompetent crap is this? Also maybe consider answering your phones?"
One patron said: "You people are pathetic, incompetent and unprofessional. I despise BPL."
Another customer said: "Please post an explanation for last night; I'd like to be able to explain it to my Airbnb guests. Who so far have had the accident on Gladstone road power cut last night and now this! Pathetic... Are you kidding me! We just had an 8-hour power cut last night! What was the reason for last night?"
Last month, BPL chairman Donovan Moxey said the acquisition of the seven engines represented the first step in BPL’s new strategy and strategic outlook.
He said one of the major components of this new direction would be BPL’s relationship with Shell North America, citing its arrangement to construct a 220-megawatt gas power plant in the coming years.
Updating the status of the installation at the time, Mr Parker said BPL was working hand-in hand with Wärtsilä to ensure the new engines are correctly installed and operated according to best practices.
He insisted the installation process would “guard against” potential interruptions to the fragile New Providence grid.
He told The Tribune: “The preparatory work done by BPL at station A, has considered all aspects of the installation. We have prepared the area for the weight of the new engines and prepared it for all of the auxiliary work needed during at this time.”
The Tribune’s attempts to get an update from Bahamas Power and Light were unsuccessful.