BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard. (File photo)
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard believes load shedding at Bahamas Power and Light will still occasionally happen until an additional 90 megawatts of generation is brought on stream.
He spoke after BPL chairman Dr Donovan Moxey declared the load shedding era over following the installation of seven Wartsila engines that generate 130 megawatts of power. Works Minister Desmond Bannister has indicated that millions will be spent to bring an additional 90 megawatts of capacity online by 2021 for a total of 222 megawatts.
Asked about Dr Moxey’s prediction, Mr Maynard said yesterday: “I wouldn’t say that if I were him. (The equipment) is still going to trip; 130 won’t hold you, wait until we get the 90. (Dr Moxey) is getting his advice from the engineers and in my opinion the engineers are wrong. The generators will significantly cut down load shedding but it will still happen because the equipment at Blue Hill and Clifton Pier (plants) still ancient.”
BPL Engines 2
Dr Moxey led members of the Minnis administration on a tour of BPL’s new plant on Friday.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the additional generation “will fix long-standing and vexing problems in New Providence”.
“Its machines were old and inadequate,” Dr Minnis also said. “BPL as we met it was in a state of collapse. Its ability to reliably and consistently generate power was near total collapse. On coming to office, we made the reform of BPL a priority. The last administration chose not to make the tough decisions needed to reform the company and to introduce meaningful energy sector reform.”
For his part, Dr Moxey said on Friday: “These seven new Wartsila state-of-the-art engines will generate 130mw of power and provide consistent and reliable power to the grid, while minimising our overall carbon footprint. Thanks to their versatility and ability to burn less extensive fuels the cost for our customers will go down as fuel savings expand. Most importantly, these engines dramatically increase our generation capacity.”
He added: “We’ll be able to take other units offline to repair without impacting our overall generation as well as retire units that are less efficient and beyond their useful life. More than anything else it means we have much need capacity in our system. So come this summer when peak demand is at 260mw we will have over 300mw of available power.
“There will be an end to load shedding. This facility along with other facets of our turn-around strategy will help make load shedding a thing of the past in New Providence and that is something we can all celebrate.”