BVI News

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BVIEC was repaired in haste | Lightning storm hurts faulty grid

General Manager for the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) Leroy Abraham said a faulty grid, old electricity distribution equipment, and unstable weather were the leading causes of a power outage that affected almost all the territory on Tuesday, June 21.

Eleven of 12 islands powered by the Corporation were impacted by the outage which lasted roughly an hour-and-a-half.

Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Frenchman’s Cay, Little Thatch, Beef Island, Great Camanoe, Buck Island, Scrub Island, Marina Cay, Saba Rock and Tortola were the affected islands.

Anegada was not affected by the outage because an independent power station is located on the island.

The power outage happened during a tropical wave that produced moderate to heavy showers over the British Virgin Islands.

“The rainfall came with a lot of heavy lightning and the lightning storm was the cause of the territory-wide shutdown. The lightning affected some of the distribution equipment on Virgin Gorda and all eleven islands went down,” he told BVI News on Wednesday, June 20.

He said the equipment has since been repaired.

Faulty grid, some repairs not done properly 

Abraham said, up to the time if the outage, there were “pre-existing” issues with the station’s electricity grid.

He said those issue still need to be addressed, adding that the grid is a near-brand new system that underwent repairs after the 2017 hurricanes.

He said the “extremely fast” pace in which the territory’s power network was restored could have caused some of the problems now being experienced.

“Some parts of it went back up with reused equipment and somethings were done in the haste not as properly as it should have been in the process. Because the major objective is to get persons’ electricity restored,” Abraham explained.

Need for worry?

Abraham the issues are being addressed but inclement weather will continue to affect the already faulty grid.

“Those things will continue to happen; that’s just the nature of this business,” he said, adding that despite the recent outage, the grid is “exceptional” and has been reliable over the last few months.

The territory is now 21 days into the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

15 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    Let’s hope we can learn from this and make the system more resilient.

    Hurricanes occur about once every 8 years. But heavy rain storms – we get several of those every single season.

  2. Stuppes says:

    I thought we had a good grid with a good system that was now looped. You guys are talking with two tongues.

    • TO stuppes says:

      Are you dumb?? he clearly said the system was new, but after the storm used items had to be utilized to got the country back up and running.

  3. Red boat says:

    Leroy – you are a good man working under tough conditions! You have my respect for all you do to keep the lights on!

  4. WTF says:

    OMG!!!?? No way….You Sir need to Go!!!! What the Hell

  5. Truth says:

    Bad weather. West Palm Beach without power 7 hours. No one was crying. Big deal a few hours in a bad storm here. People so forget.

  6. bubun says:

    they need to clean up the wires and pick up the old poles that around the place.

  7. Political Observer (PO) says:

    He said the “extremely fast” pace in which the territory’s power network was restored could have caused some of the problems now being experienced.

    “Some parts of it went back up with reused equipment and somethings were done in the haste not as properly as it should have been in the process. Because the major objective is to get persons’ electricity restored,”

    Yes, there was a need for electricity to be restored as quickly as possible but I’m sure residents would not mind being inconvenience a little longer for a better quality and more relible end product. What happen to quality control and quality assurance? This was a false economy and false assurance; the work was rushed and the end product (grid) could withstand a likle rain storm. The BVIEC did things right, not doing the right things.

    Why can’t the BVI do things right the first time. Rework is an expensive process that reduces the amount of service that should be delivered. Rework seem to prevalent in all the services that is delivered, driving up the cost to taxpayers, unnecessarily inconveniencing customers and reducing the level of service.

    • Devon says:

      Agree…. any competent worker or company would note any potential defective parts used.. once logged it could be replaced at a later date when parts etc are available.

    • Sam the man says:

      The “No Direction party” never wants things done right first time just look at the state of the roads! so long as it kind of looks ok for a few months or works for a while – then pay somebody else to repair/renew its more contracts, more kick backs you know what goes on…Irma is a golden opportunity to make money…

    • Wes says:

      Cannot please you ingrates.

    • CW says:

      Your comment shows you know nothing about critical infrastructure repair or natural disaster management. “I’m sure residents wouldn’t mind being inconvenience a little longer” HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA That is the silliest thing I’ve seen on here and that’s saying something. Wait for a little inconvenience? THERE WAS A PRISON BREAK. A little inconvenience? THERE WAS NO PUMPING WATER. a little inconvenience? THE HOSPITALS COULDNT OPERATE. if left to your own devices BVI would be on fire or sink into the sea lol. But you sure are experts about everything AFTER the fact. That’s ok, most children think this way.OF COURSE it’s best to do it the right way first, but when you have multiple emergencies and only old equipment, you repair what you can with what you have. I’m sure you would have done better but were too busy hating and not getting your degree in electrical engineering and technology

  8. Mr Shovels says:

    Hasty repair jobs are standard affair in the BVI anyway smh…

  9. true says:

    NEWS FLASH Anegada was out of power for about 2 hours in the morning from 5am till 7am

  10. Anonymous says:

    BVIEC is full of crap! Full of badmind people on the board and badmind workers. They have yet to pay the vg restoration team their over time money from September ! Full of sh-t and greed

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