By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN open “line of communication” with Bahamas Power & Light has allowed Baha Mar to weather the relentless wave of ongoing power cuts, however the mega resort’s senior vice president of government and external affairs said the daily disruption in power is “not acceptable”.
Robert “Sandy” Sands, in an interview with The Tribune, said while Baha Mar gets its “fair share” of power cuts, its “good communication” with the utility provider allows it to switch to standby generation ahead of disruption. So far, Mr Sands said, that arrangement has worked for the most part, as its transition from BPL’s service to standby generation is so “seamless” that the resort’s guests aren’t even aware of when the power goes out.
However, Mr Sands lamented the electricity issues, as not only is relying on standby generation an “additional cost”, it has an impact on the resort’s machinery and other items. He said the situation needs to be corrected in the “shortest possible time”.
“We get our fair share of power cuts as anybody else as well, but we have standby generation, and we have a good communication with BPL, so we’re pretty much on a timed basis,” Mr Sands told The Tribune yesterday. “So the power cuts are seamless although it certainly has an impact on machinery and different items.”
When questioned about whether the power cuts have proven costly to Baha Mar, he replied: “It certainly is an additional cost. There’s no question about that. But we have a line of communication with BPL that allows us to plan the interruptions on an ongoing basis.”
He added: “The guests for the most part are not aware that power cuts are taking place because we are notified and we’re on standby generation prior to the actual interruption.
“…If BPL advises us that the light is cutting off at 12, we discontinue their service and go on standby at 11. Once the transition takes place it’s seamless for us.”
He also said: “Our complaints are that the disruptions are not acceptable, that they need to correct it in the shortest possible period of time. And also that the continuous interruptions also have an impact on machinery.”
Residents throughout New Providence have suffered through daily load shedding since June 19, with frequent power cuts happening before that time. This despite BPL Chairman Donovan Moxey proclaiming earlier this year that officials did not expect load shedding this summer.
The load shedding exercises came as a result of problems experienced with BPL’s generating assets at the Blue Hills Power Station, the company said previously. Due to increasing temperatures, customer demand on the network in New Providence has spiked. The loss of generation coupled with the increase in demand resulted in a shortfall of generation and the need for load shedding, BPL said.
Company officials have said the situation may not improve until the fall.
Last week Atlantis resort said it has been scheduling some of its outages and using its standby generators, working with BPL to go off grid to allow the company to provide more capacity to the rest of the island.
Last week, BPL CEO Whitney Heastie said the company sits “on the edge every day” and could not say when the nightmare would end as the company had “no wiggle room”.
Yesterday, BPL said it currently has 200mw available against an expected day peak of 225mw and an evening peak of 232mw.