BPL sets sights on two-week deadline on power shortfall


Deputy Chief Reporter


IN roughly two weeks, Bahamas Power and Light expects to have fixed existing issues that have led to a 44-megawatt generation shortfall resulting in heavy load shedding.

BPL said a replacement starting engine for unit one at Blue Hills Power Station that produces 23mw of electricity arrived late yesterday and a team immediately prepared it for alignment and installation. There is an expected completion date of the final week of September.

Additionally, two generator specialists arrived at BPL yesterday to assist with addressing problems with unit two. This unit is responsible for putting out 21mw of power.

Load shedding was carried out yesterday in three-hour intervals with a 22.2mw shortfall.

Three-hour load shedding is also expected today and BPL said there will be an estimated 30mw load shortage.

"We expect the arrival of the replacement diesel starter engine and the new generation specialists engaged through our US partners to reinvigorate our forward motion on these units," the company said in its daily fact sheet yesterday.

"We are still looking to have at least one of the two units at Blue Hills Power Station that are the focus of our efforts back in service sometime during the last week in September. This reassessment of our timelines followed a number of setbacks. As a result, the new timeline is being reassessed daily as work progresses. We will continue to update the public as our efforts continue.

"The replacement diesel starting engine for unit one arrived on site late this afternoon, and the team immediately went to work preparing for alignment and installation of the component, which we anticipate concluding by midweek," the company also said.

"Once the replacement starter engine has been installed, we intend to restart the unit and resume testing, which we expect to lead to pre-commissioning thereafter. We hope to have the unit back online sometime in the final week of September."

Regarding unit two, BPL said: "That unit remains the subject of continued troubleshooting today, with the team - comprised of BPL and our US partners, and now the two specialists as well - reviewing a recurrent problem in the interface with the diesel engine.

"Solving this issue will allow us to get a second set of vibrational readings, which will further the specialist's analysis of the vibration issue preventing this unit from going on full load. We will assess our September 25 timetable based on the pace of the progress."

Meanwhile, the successful installation of a third pump was completed on the other Blue Hills Power Station. That completion of the work doubles the output of that unit, BPL said.

"We continue to concentrate efforts on these two units at BHPS because together they have a total output of 44 megawatts, which more than makes up the generation deficit we face during peak energy consumption hours. That generation deficit is what has led to the heavy load shedding."


SP 4 years, 8 months ago

Every time the government changes one of the very first initiatives of the newly elected government is to throw $100M to BEC for power upgrades. Then comes the promise of no power cuts for the upcoming summer season.

This shuffle, bob & weave routine is always followed by power cuts, brownouts, and blackouts throughout the summer months with absolutely no account of what happened to taxpayers $100M!

The FNM and PLP take us for fools. However, let me remind them, he who laughs last, laughs best.

Bahamianbychoice 4 years, 8 months ago

Over the last year 7 engines have come off line. This is unprecedented with unprecedented load shedding. We now have two of the three islands that supported the economy devastated by the hurricane. New Providence, the main island supporting what's left of the Bahamian economy cannot provide reliable power. Daily there are three to four hours power outages. Does anyone really think businesses will stay or FDI will come. The amount of money spent each month with these rentals that cannot be passed onto the Bahamian people directly in billing will eventually reflect in the GDP. Yet this administration does nothing...

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 8 months ago

My great grandmother can run the 100 metre dash barefoot in under 10 seconds against a 10 knot headwind.

buddah17 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry to say, but!! I don't think anything different will EVER happen until The Bahamas embraces alternative energy sources for our power... Only 3rd world countries are still chasing carbon based energy sources...

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