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Bad Weather And Equipment Faults Blamed For Abaco Blackouts

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

POWER blackouts in Abaco were yesterday blamed on inclement weather and faulty equipment.

Bahamas Power and Light confirmed that consumers experienced a total system shutdown on Friday, and again on Monday, after lightning hit a crucial piece of equipment.

In a statement yesterday, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) said its Abaco system had been stabilised.

“Bad weather, including severe lightning activity, impacted the island on Friday (June 10) causing a total system shutdown early Friday afternoon,” read a BPL statement. “Supply was restored to approximately 50 per cent of customers by 4pm on Friday and fully restored island wide by midnight on Saturday.

“Following the shutdown, an initial investigation found damage to a major piece of auxiliary equipment at Wilson City Power Station (WCPS). Repairs to the part were hampered by the adverse weather conditions and prevented the use of engines at WCPS.

“Engines at the Marsh Harbour Power Station (MHPS) were used to supply just over 50 per cent of the island with supply until conditions improved to complete the repairs at WPPS Friday night.

“Problems with that piece of equipment resurfaced on Monday morning (June 13) causing a total system shutdown at 2.20am. Supply was fully restored just before 8am with supply from MHPS and one of the units at WCPS. Further generation challenges at MHPS caused some customers to lose supply at about 8am until just before 11am on Monday when the other engines at Wilson City were returned to service.”

Another island-wide outage that lasted about two hours took place on Sunday afternoon due to a faulty substation transformer.

In the cays, periods of supply interruption over the weekend and on Monday were due to cable faults.

BPL apologised to Abaco customers, and pledged that it will make necessary investments to “drastically improve reliability.”

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