More problems, power outages possible

Temporary electricity brownouts for certain areas of Grand Cayman are possible for the next two or three days.

“During the peak hours, if we have any large unit that goes off, if another 10 megawatt unit that has to be taken offline, we will not be able to meet the demand of customers and we’ll have to go into rotating outages,” CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said at a press conference Tuesday.

That means entire areas will be without power for about an hour.

“We try to minimise inconvenience to any group of customers,” Mr. Hew said.

He said the power demand for the Island is roughly 85 megawatts this time of year.

With the recent failed generators – six out of around 20 are down – CUC has a supply of 109 megawatts.

“That will go a long way to restoring that reserve margin that we require,” Mr. Hew said. “However, from time to time, we have service issues where we have to take units off, sometimes from an hour to two hours, or one to two days.”

There were several power outages during the day Monday. They included parts of West Bay, Seven Mile Beach, parts of George Town, Walkers Road, South Sound, Crewe Road and Savannah to Beach Bay.

Dangerous job

The press conference was held to address two recent mechanical failures – one with a diesel engine failure and the other a generator explosion that left two workers injured.

On Saturday, 5 February, a 10-megawatt generator failed when there was internal damage to the diesel engine.

On Friday, 28 January, a generator exploded.

“The explosion occurred in the exhaust system of that unit, and it occurred as the engine was going through the start-up process,” said Mr. Hew.

The explosion injured CUC workers Arnie Ebanks, who recovered from his injuries, and Kurt Scott, who is in critical condition at Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami.

“Our business is fraught with danger as far as electricity, fuel handling, and falls from heights to our employees. But we are very proud of our safety record. We have a very good safety record,” Mr. Hew said.

“We will use this incident to in fact strengthen our safety programme, and learn whatever we can from it, and put in place measures that will improve our safety performance, once we have a conclusive report and we know exactly what happened and what caused this accident.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. With the hot Cayman Sun, your heating bills could be reduced to almost nothing — with lots of electricity to spare. In North America, the electric companies will buy your surplus. In Cayman — they buy it all from you, then sell it back to you at their outrageous rates!!! So, most people with Solar dont even offer their surplus to CUC — it is wasted. CUC has a vested interest in preventing people from getting Solar Panels — so they make things difficult. It is very expensive now, because so few people have it. But if more people got it, the price would come down — its a win/win solution (except CUC loses — and it serves them right for gouging people for so many decades). And no, I dont work or own a solar heating company nor do I know anyone who does. But it makes no sense to me, being an environmentalist, that it isnt used more on the island. I did install a tankless water heater and that has made a HUGE difference in my water bill — and the fact that we have endless hot water for every to have hot showers in the morning. I highly recommend them.

  2. I guess this is what happens when a company buys garbage generators for 10x market price just to earn 18% return on there investment I bet they still earn the return even if the garbage dosn,t work…This is what happens when a monopoly in in control …I guess they should of purchased those US generators that were offered for almost nothing

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