Power outages explained

FIXING THE PROBLEMS – Following multiple outages over the weekend in the South Bahamia area, Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) linesmen identified and repaired weak spots in the distribution system that are susceptible to increased winds and lightning activity. (PHOTO: TFN FILES)

After multiple power outages in the Bahamia area over the weekend, this daily was inundated with calls of complaints from residents on Monday (September 3), who wanted answers.

One female resident told The Freeport News that over the weekend her electricity was cut off several times. The resident expressed that she was desperately seeking answers about the outages.

Armed with this information, this daily reached out to the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) for clarity on the matter.

GBPC Operations and Maintenance Manager of Transmission and Distribution, Neilsen Beneby, responded later on Monday (September 3) evening, updating this daily on how the company was addressing the problem.

He explained that South Bahamia had experienced an increased number of outages over the weekend as a direct result of bad weather impacting the distribution system.

According to Beneby, on Monday, September 3, 2018 a team of GBPC employees identified and repaired weak spots in the distribution system for the South Bahamia area that are susceptible to increased winds and lightning activity.

Beneby said that GBPC is actively working to increase its transmission and distribution protection through the installation of lightning arrestors and grounding improvements that will reduce fault levels as a result of lightning strikes.

He explained that this protection is needed because as wind speeds increase, overhead conductors slap together resulting in faults on the grid that can produce unwanted levels of electric current.

“Therefore, as a protective measure, the electric grid is designed to isolate these faults to prevent catastrophic damage to GBPC and customer owned equipment.

“This is all a part of the company’s plan to increase power protection and reliability,” he said.

Beneby informed this daily that the GBPC has dedicated $15 million over the next five years for Storm Hardening that will focus on power quality and reliability improvements, while strengthening the transmission and distribution system to “weather the storm” and reduce customer related power outages.

He concluded that the GBPC is currently in year one of its storm hardening plan and customers should expect to reap the benefits of this work late 2018 into the 2019 storm season.

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