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.
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.”