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BEC Implementing Measures To Prevent Mass Power Outage

Bahamas Electricity Corporation Chairman Leslie Miller says the state owned power giant is implementing measures to prevent another mass power outage.

An island wide blackout around 9:00p.m. last Thursday left thousands of New Providence residents in darkness for more than eight hours. Some residents claim they were still wrestling the power outage up to midday Friday.

Mr. Miller yesterday told the Bahama Journal he does not anticipate such a blackout reoccurring, but added that BEC is playing it safe.

“We don’t think so, but that is why we are bringing in the experts to assist us to get to the root of it to ensure that there is no reoccurrence,” he said. “This was a situation that no one really anticipated or expected. It should not have happened. Why did it happen, and why did it not isolate itself? It should have stayed at a half mile radius from the substation in Baillou Hills. It should have been contained in that area instead of tripping the whole system. This is what we are going to ascertain and put in the necessary apparatus to ensure it does not happen again.”
The chairman acknowledged that what happened last Thursday was “an absolute disaster.”

Photos surfaced on social media sites showing agitated Bahamians seeking refuge in places like gas stations, laundromats and beaches.

“This whole situation appears to have been initiated at a substation at Soldier Road and when that substation detected a problem it went out,” he said.

“That power was then transferred to Baillou Hill power station and the computers then told the system there was an overload, so it shut down the machine at Baillou Hill, through which a power surge was detected at Clifton.”

However, Mr. Miller insists the situation is under control.

“So far, we seem to be in pretty good shape,” he said. “All of the engines are back on, and we have more than the supply that is necessary to enable us to serve New Providence,” he said.

“We have some experts coming in to assist us in evaluating what the problem is and once we have ascertained that we will go ahead and make the necessary adjustments that are needed to see to it that what happened this week does not reoccur. That’s really the goal -to try and strengthen the system by any means possible. We have to do better, and we will do better. We are just asking the Bahamian people to bear with us for just a little while longer until we sort things out.”

But, the BEC chairman was so apologetic to those who have made personal attacks against him.

“Why would they attack me? I’m only the chairman. I don’t fix machines. I’m not responsible for operating any machines, and I think it’s sort of idiotic and stupid to attack the messenger. What are you attacking the messenger for? In fact, no one should be attacked—it happened. These things happen with any machine? What does it have to do with me,” he asked.

“What do these people want? You can only do your best. If your best isn’t good enough, then what can you do? You can’t do more than that, and that is all that we have been doing. I believe the vast majority of them appreciate what we have done. The cynics are always going to be against you and we expect that. I really don’t pay any attention to them to be honest with you. I don’t care what they say about my family or me, it does not bother me. That is their problem, not mine.”
The BEC chairman has meantime promised that the corporation will have to sit down to discuss a compensation package for those affected by Thursday’s outage.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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