Categorized | National News

Illegal Dumping Caused Island-wide Blackout

It was lights out just before noon in New Providence on Tuesday and according to Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister, contrary to what many may have believed, BPL wasn’t to blame – but rather someone apparently engaged in illegal dumping.

“Power in New Providence is facilitated by a 132,000 volt line between Clifton and the Blue Hills Power Station. These lines are located along easements to facilitate access,” Mr. Bannister said. 

“It is clear that yesterday sir, a heavy duty vehicle was engaged in illegal dumping within the easements and came to close to one of the transmission poles.

“That impact caused the 132,000 volt lines to clash into each other, thereby imposing a major fall in the transmission network.  

“The result is that generation at both power stations tripped offline thereby causing a total island-wide outage.”   

The first generator was back on line at the Blue Hills Power Station within 20 minutes of the outage, with the first set of customers restored shortly thereafter.

After two hours, 85 percent of customers had power.

“At this point, there was a delay in the restoration process while teams worked to restore the final generator and remaining customers,” Mr. Bannister said. 

“The final generator was restored at 16:03 and all customers impacted by the island-wide outage should have been restored by 17:00. 

“Further outage was experienced in the Soldier Road area.  The primary substation had to be isolated to rectify a high voltage cable termination as a result of that outage.

“Mr. Speaker, while we were all inconvenienced yesterday, we are thankful that power was restored as quickly as possible.  However sir, this incident could have ended very tragically for the truck driver, had his vehicle impacted that pole just inches from the actual point of impact.”          

Mr. Bannister then warned that engaging in such practice puts lives at risk.

Power outages have been a commonplace in New Providence and some Family Islands, with some interruptions lasting up to three to four hours at a time.

The minister of public works has blamed the historic generation shortfall and transmission challenges on ageing or obsolete equipment.

“BPL is currently addressing the generation challenge by connecting seven 18.5 megawatt Wartsilla engines to the system by the end of 2019,” Mr. Bannister said. 

“It is anticipated that these engines will provide reliable generation for the island of New Providence.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook