More power outages cause concern

Several power outages were reported on Friday, 29 April, and Saturday, 30 April, interrupting the live Royal wedding telecast for many residents.

In early April as they prepared to celebrate their 45th anniversary, Caribbean Utilities Company resorted to load shedding which caused rolling blackouts to parts of the island, including to major hotels and business sectors.

CUC brought in backup generators to prevent further outages that were supposed to arrive in April and May, but in the early hours of Friday morning, power was out in the South Sound area as well as in West Bay.

“We had one (outage) Friday in the morning for 15 minutes,” said CUC spokesperson Pat Bynoe-Clarke.

Parts of Camana Bay also lost power Saturday evening around 7pm. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink was without electricity for approximately 20 minutes as the restaurant prepared for a busy Saturday night. Restaurant staff had to add more candles to the ambient lighting so patrons could continue to dine with some visibility.

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Ms Clarke said she didn’t know the exact details of the outages, so she couldn’t confirm if there were any unplanned events like generators failing.

In April, CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said he didn’t “anticipate any more (rolling blackouts), but I always raise a caution that if we do have unplanned events, we could have outages.”

Mr. Hew said in the April press briefing that as available capacity increases, there is a cushion between peak demand and available capacity that would decrease the chances of rolling blackouts.

The power company brought in 10 temporary, 1.5-megawatt generators to cover the summer months and inevitable rise in demand for power.

This month, CUC was supposed to have an additional 16-megawatt generator and a 9-megawatt unit back from repair to help cover the spike in electricity use from hotter summer temperatures.

If the electric company cannot cover the rise in demand, CUC will use load shedding to prevent overload on their system, which could cause longer and more wide-spread outages.

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