By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
GENERATION shortfalls continue at Bahamas Power and Light Company as the electricity provider eyes a “before Christmas” deadline for the commissioning of its new plant.
Load shedding was initiated Friday and persisted over the weekend because of a higher demand than BPL could meet, according to Quincy Parker, the power provider’s director of public relations.
By Saturday, Mr Parker said a problem developed that forced BPL to take an engine offline.
While this asset was returned to service Sunday, load shedding in some areas spilled into yesterday morning.
Load shedding activities initally ended at 3.55pm yesterday; however, the company later announced it would resume load shedding from 8pm to 11pm.
Scheduled affected areas were: the national stadium, portions of Yellow Elder, Claridge Road and the Mall at Marathon, as well as areas surrounding the Town Centre Mall.
In an earlier interview, Mr Parker underscored BPL officials are really excited about station A’s $95m upgrades.
“It is a really big deal because it means we will have reliable, steady low cost, high efficiency power pumping into the grid. All these engines which need months in some cases and weeks in other cases can get proper maintenance especially on machines that have been in constant demand. That maintenance can be done and they can be returned to the best possible condition,” he told The Tribune.
Mr Parker was asked if BPL was still on course to have the new station up and running by the fall.
He said: “Late fall…I would say before Christmas because what is happening is a construction project. You never know what you are going to find, but to be on the safe side I would say before Christmas.”
The company has repeatedly said the fall is the planned timeline.
BPL further announced yesterday a planned outage at Infant View Road as BPL would be making improvements to its overhead infrastructure tomorrow beginning at 9am. The outage is expected to last four hours.
The promises of a new station have done little to comfort consumers, many posting on BPL’s Facebook page.
“If we do the calculation, BPL has taken about 21-24 hrs a week from consumers for the last 2 months, which means the average consumer has gotten 6 days of electricity per week and has lost almost a weeks supply of electricity per month...unbelievable! I hope bonus is not based upon performance! This is the worst year ever,” one consumer posted.
Another said: “Don’t y’all dear frig with the switch for Golden Gates #2 today! Y’all had us off Friday night straight into yesterday morning and again today! I don’t give a crap bout what was unforeseen!”
Power cuts have occurred this year as far back as mid-April and regular load shedding since June 19.
BPL has been unable to definitively say when the situation is expected to get better.
Earlier this month, Bishop Simeon Hall called the situation a “crisis” and urged BPL to “fix the light before darkness causes someone’s death”.
The prominent religious leader said officials need to make fixing the problem a national priority.