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.
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