NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Works and Utilities Minister Alfred Sears said yesterday that government has undertaken a number of major initiatives and strategic changes to address Bahamas Power & Light’s (BPL) power generation challenges in the medium and long term.
Speaking with reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting yesterday on BPL’s ongoing challenges Sears noted that there are several legacy issues impacting the operations of the power company.
He explained: “It has a very aged power generation system that poses significant challenges. However, the good thing is that we have a talented and innovative technical team that manages to keep these old engines running by reconditioning them and implementing other necessary measures.
“One such initiative is the recent commissioning of a 25 MW battery energy storage system, which is expected to save BPL $3 million each month in fuel costs.
“Additionally, BPL commissioned a utility-scale solar system in Ragged Island a year ago. In the upcoming period, 2023/2024, BPL plans to construct two 10 MW utility-scale solar facilities. These facilities, along with power purchase agreements with private solar providers, will enhance BPL’s resilience,” Sears revealed, noting that BPL is prioritizing energy conservation.
“Measures such as installing LED lights fixtures are being implemented. BPL is also preparing itself for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and aims to incorporate LNG in its power generation. In addition to these initiatives, BPL is implementing smart metering and will conduct pilot projects to improve efficiency within the corporation.
“To support these endeavors, BPL is increasing its human resource capacity by hiring 35 lines-persons, reinstating the apprenticeship program, and actively recruiting young talented Bahamians seeking to become professionals in the industry,” said Sears.