Nearly three years after the country was crippled by two consecutive days of island-wide power outages, Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P) says it is focused on delivering a more reliable service.
This was specifically in relation to the generation of power and the way it was transmitted and distributed, BL&P director of asset management Rohan Seale testified at the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) hearing considering the company’s application for a rate increase.
On day ten of the hearing at the Accra Beach Hotel on Tuesday, Seale appeared remotely before the FTC group of commissioners, chaired by Dr Donley Carrington, as did the other members of the company’s asset management witness panel, director of operations Johann Greaves, and director of finance Ricaido Jennings.
In his role as director of asset management, a post he has held since 2016, Seale’s responsibilities include the management of BL&P’s generation and transmission and distribution assets.
Responding via Zoom to a question from BL&P lead counsel Ramon Alleyne, Seale said that the electric utility sought to boost its service reliability in several ways.
“Mainly, for example, on the generation front we would install new generation capacity and…recently as part of our reliability improvements, we would have invested in over $133 million in our Clean Energy Bridge generation plant in St Lucy, and certainly that adds reliability from a generation perspective,” he explained.
“And then on the [transmission and distribution] as well, we make significant investments in our transmission network to ensure that the system remains reliable and secure as well.”
He elaborated: “So over the years, we would have invested in what we call the northern underground transmission network. For example, we have a double circuit that leaves our Trents, [St Lucy] generation station and goes into the St Thomas sub-station.
“And we continue to strengthen that network because currently as we speak, we are also investing in an additional double circuit from the Trents sub-station to the north sub-station to add an additional double circuit so that we can improve the reliability of the dispatch of the new clean energy plant into the southern part of the network as far south as Warrens.
“So we contiue to make those investments both on the [transmission and distribution] side and also on the generation side to ensure that we have adequate reliability throughout the network,” Seale added.
The three-member asset management witness panel will continue to give evidence on Wednesday, ahead of the scheduled end of the 12-day proceedings on Thursday. It is unclear if the proceedings will be extended with other witnesses still to appear before the FTC panel. (SC)