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Hill: BPL not focused on status of PowerSecure agreement

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) CEO Pamela Hill said this week that BPL is not focused on whether the government intends to renew its management agreement with PowerSecure, but rather on improving the reliability of power to its customers.

PowerSecure signed a management services agreement with the Christie administration in 2016. The deal has an initial term of five years.

When asked about the renewal of the agreement, Hill said, “We are not focused on any such thing.

“My focus entirely is on the three things that I know our customers are focused on and that is around improving the reliability, the affordability and the customer service aspect of our product and everything else is really not core to our mission, to my mission here in the company.”

There have been concerns about BPL’s performance due to the level of outages many residents have endured in recent months, as well as a near 50 percent increase in fuel bill in the last year.

Hill spoke with reporters following a meeting of the Rotary Club of South East Nassau at East Villa Restaurant on Wednesday.

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister has said that the new board of BPL will review everything related to the company, including the Christie administration’s deal with PowerSecure.

PowerSecure’s agreement with the government provides for a guaranteed management fee of $2 million a year, but the company can get up to $5 million a year, with $3 million representing a bonus equal to 150 percent of the base fee.

The management services agreement has an initial term of five years, with the option to be extended for an additional five years upon the mutual agreement of BPL and PowerSecure.


Improving power reliability


Hill said that BPL is committed to improving the generation and distribution of electricity in The Bahamas.

In recent weeks, BPL has had to apologize to customers on Exuma, New Providence, Abaco and Bimini due to outages.

BPL said a major underground fault occurred on a submarine cable near Bimini on August 4.

That fault caused outages at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini and to residents in Alice Town.

On August 4, BPL apologized to residents of Abaco who were subjected to 10 days of power outages. BPL said it was conducting a series of tests, which in turn caused the outages.

Hill said there have been some “maintenance issues” but that BPL is working diligently to resolve them.

“That is something we are keenly aware of and focused on,” she said.

“Around Exuma and Abaco, the outages have not been related to the submarine side since that is not as much an issue there, but really around the major maintenance of the units and the need for making improvements in how those are essentially structured.

“We are working diligently as we have those outages.

“Sometimes we have a car hit a pole. Other times they are related to a transmission and distribution outage that triggers the generator to trip.

“We have our folks in Nassau who are flying over to Abaco as well as to the Exumas in order to lend support.”