BELCO Update On Island-Wide Outage

December 22, 2020 | 5 Comments

BELCO provided an update on the island-wide power outage that occurred on Friday, December 18th, saying that ‘while the incident is still under investigation, early indications are that the cause was equipment failure.’

BELCO President Dennis Pimentel said: “First and foremost let me again apologise to our customers for the inconvenience this outage caused. It should be noted that BELCO is one of the most reliable small island power plants in the world and this outage was a rare occurrence, the first such incident in more than 15 years, with the previous outage having been caused by a catastrophic fire. Our staff take great pride in their work and performance record and were equally disappointed and frustrated when the outage occurred.”

Noting “the incident is still under investigation,” Mr. Pimentel said “early indications are that the cause was equipment failure.”

He said: “Our operations personnel proceeded to perform a standard operating procedure, however during this process there was an equipment failure which led to a cascade of built-in safety mechanisms being triggered that ultimately shut-off power to the entire island.

“When the fault occurred, the safety mechanisms performed as designed and prevented what could have been serious damage to the generating equipment and grid and taken much longer to repair and restore power.”

belco comment dec 22 2020

“A report on the incident is being prepared and will be submitted to the Regulatory Authority as a matter of urgency,” BELCO said.

“The incident occurred at approximately 10.20 am on December 18th and BELCO’s Crisis Management Team was convened by 10.30 am. Once a stable power supply was being generated, steps were immediately taken to set about restoring power to critical customers.

“Power was restored to customers in a phased approach beginning with the Hospital by 1pm, the city of Hamilton by 3pm, the majority of customers by 5pm and all remaining customers by 7pm.”

Ascendant President Wayne Caines said: “We at the Ascendant Group of Companies, and especially BELCO, are acutely aware of the impact Covid-19 has had on our economy and way of life. Indeed, BELCO took a number of actions to assist the community during shelter in place such as a bill deferment plan and dedicated customer service credit team for those struggling financially.

“Our priority now is to ensure our report into this incident is thorough and accurate and we will provide full transparency as the report will be submitted to the Regulatory Authority and will be made public. Let me again apologise to our customers and especially retail businesses who have already had a very difficult year.

“I am highly aware that a power outage is never convenient but this time of year, in particular, is especially difficult. My promise is that we will do everything possible to avoid a repeat of this incident.”

Read More About

Category: All, News, technology

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Question says:

    What about the Power Failure yesterday, Monday the 21st in parts of Southampton for around10 hours? Found out that 340 meters were affected. Nothing being said about this. Too many power failures over the course of the last year. Is maintenance of the power grid faltering? Power in Bermuda had always been more dependable. What is going on?

  2. Sorry, not sorry says:

    Is it just me or does Wayne Caines’ entire career seem to consist of one apology after another?

    • Rachel says:

      He is the president of the company, therefore it is standard procedure to issue and apology.

      Is it me or do people get more dopey as the year goes on.

  3. Harbour View says:

    Bla bla bla. Noise just like no action for the dancing duo. Nothing will happen with this orchestrated bunch

    A preemptive release before tonight’s press conference by Deputy Premier also no coincidence. If the equipment failure is already known, why is there a delay in the report?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Perhaps you could read the whole article, starting with “while the incident is still under investigation, early indications are that the cause was equipment failure.’”

      The spokesperson is correct, “an equipment failure which led to a cascade of built-in safety mechanisms being triggered that ultimately shut-off power to the entire island”. Knowing “what” happened is not the same as knowing “why” it happened. That is what is now under investigation.

      Given that Belco (Ascendant) is now owned by Algonquin (with the blessing of the PLP Government) I do not understand why Bermudians believe they have the right to know everything about Belco.

      If Bermudian were really interested in keeping Belco a “national treasure” we would have bought it. We did not.

Leave a Reply