The Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) is now in a better position to meet the demands of its customers.
Managing Director Roger Blackman today revealed that two diesel generators which were damaged three weeks ago have now been repaired and are fully functional.
He said the two generators which together provide 60 megawatts, would allow the BL&P to adequately service the country.
Blackman revealed that BL&P has an installed firm generating capacity of approximately 250 megawatts, which was well above Barbados’ daily peak electricity demand of 150 megawatts.
“About three weeks ago, we experienced failures on the fuel injection equipment in the 60 megawatts low speed diesel station (which consists of two 30 megawatt units). Investigations into this equipment failure are ongoing, but appear to be linked to a component failure, and we have been in discussion with the manufacturers to identify causes and potential design improvements.
“The good news today is we have been able to repair and return both of the affected diesel generators to service. When the gas turbine that is currently under maintenance is returned to service next week, it will bring additional reserves and flexibility,” Blackman said.
He explained that earlier in the year two steam turbine generators which accounted for 40 megawatts of generating capacity were taken out of service for unplanned repairs to their rotors.
Blackman said following major repairs and parts replacement, one steam turbine generator is expected back in service in early October and the other in early 2020.
As a result, he said BL&P was investigating the installation of short-term back-up generating capacity, which would mitigate against a recurrence of recent events until the steam units are returned to service.
“While this would still need the approval of our regulators, we are leaving no stone unturned in bringing this period of challenge to a close,” Blackman acknowledged.
He revealed that the BL&P was also actively pursuing a $100 million Clean Energy Bridge project which would provide a further 33 megwatts.
Blackman said this project would support the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy.
“To ensure that interruptions are kept to a minimum, during the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy, we expect to install 33 megawatts of new generating capacity, which is expected to be commissioned within 18 months of the contract signing. We are currently working on securing all of the regulatory and planning permissions necessary for this project,” Blackman said. (RB)