Frequent power outages in recent weeks have been caused by problems with multiple generators at a time when electricity usage in the territory is at an all-time high, according to BVI Electricity Corporation General Manager Dr. Neil Smith.

Currently, one of the largest generators at the Pockwood Pond power station is being overhauled, and a smaller one is awaiting repairs to its “governor” that must be carried out by specialists from the manufacturer, Dr. Smith said in a Tuesday press release.

“Another smaller generating set has been un-operational and awaiting assembly,” he added. “Complicating matters even further is the fact that power consumption in the territory is currently at the highest levels that it has ever been. Coping with the situation has forced the corporation and some of our public partners to take steps to manage the load on the system so that we can maintain general power to the territory.”

Water outages

The electricity cuts have also caused frequent interruptions to the public water supply.

The Seven Seas desalination plant in Paraquita Bay consumes four megawatts of energy when operating at full capacity, and officials have been forced to take it offline for certain periods to regulate the load on the power system, explained Dr. Smith, who was appointed BVIEC general manager in April.

During these times, he said, water production is interrupted and the supply to customers is impacted.

“We appreciate that persons would have endured frustration due to the present situation, but we apologise, and we are asking the public to be patient with us as we carry out the necessary work to restore the power plant to its optimal load carrying capacity,” he said.

Dr. Smith is also asking the public to conserve electricity. Besides lowering their electricity bill, he said, this will ease the load on the power system.

‘Highest priority’

Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer said the BVIEC and the government are giving “highest priority attention” to the “technical and operational issues” affecting the power supply, according to the press release.

“Providing reliable and dependable utilities to the territory is paramount to everyone,” he said. “We appreciate that the current issues are inconveniencing the public. This includes interruption of the water supply. For this, we apologise. We are working tirelessly to resolve the issues, but we need the public to bear with us while the solution is put in place.”