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News Report: BCCEC energy exec says frequent power outages on New Providence “extremely frustrating”

Written by: Natario McKenzie - Eyewitness Business - July 31st, 2021

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) executive yesterday lamented that frequent power supply disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the hottest summers on record were extremely frustrating, adding: “We really have to do better.”

Debbie Deal, chair of the BCCEC Energy and Environment Division, told Eyewitness News: “There’s always a reason why there’s an outage it seems. It is extremely frustrating for residents and businesses that don’t have generators on standby.

“I’ve always wanted to support BPL (Bahamas Power and Light) and I’ve offered the chamber’s support. We have to be able to offer state-of-the-art energy in this country. We can’t keep going through this every summer.

“We need to at least keep up with the Caribbean. We really have to do better. It’s ridiculous.”

BPL has consistently noted its ongoing improvements over the course of the year, with Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister in June stating the utility company would be prepared to meet peak demand.

During his contribution to the 2021/2022 budget debate, Bannister said “the turnaround and righting of BPL is well underway” and expressed confidence that “there will be no load shedding this summer”.

But Deal said BPL’s repeated assurances that there would be no load shedding were of little comfort in light of the fact that power supply continues to be disrupted across the island.

“You can say there is no load shedding but there are power outages and amounts to the same thing,” said Deal.

“One is planned and one is unplanned. It’s hot, this the hurricane season and we can’t get constant power.

“I would hate to think what state we would be in if we faced something like Hurricane Dorian on New Providence.”

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