BELCO Provide Update On Island-Wide Outage

February 5, 2023 | 9 Comments

BELCO provided an update following a “preliminary investigation” into the island-wide outage that occurred on Friday, February 3rd.

A spokesperson said, “At approximately 3:20pm an equipment fault occurred at the BELCO central plant, which caused safety mechanisms, designed to protect critical infrastructure and generating assets from damage, to engage.

“BELCO’s immediate response was to ensure the safety and wellbeing of company staff and the public. There were no injuries reported. BELCO’s Crisis Management Team [CMT] was activated to manage the event and staff and additional crews were deployed to assist with restoration efforts. The Emergency Measures Organisation [EMO] was also embodied and established its base at BELCO headquarters on Serpentine Road.

“Once all staff had been accounted for, the source of the fault was identified and isolated in order to commence the restoration process. Following an island-wide outage, power restoration is a complex process which requires the re-starting of engines slowly and methodically before electricity can start to be transmitted and distributed to customers on the grid.

“By approximately 5:00pm, sections of the City of Hamilton and critical public services operating on back-up generation had power restored. By approximately 9:30pm full restoration of all circuits had been achieved.

“A team has now been mobilised to commence investigations into the root cause of the incident. Initial reports indicate that there was a failure of the blue phase of the voltage transformer [VT] associated with one of the baseload engines. The protection systems operated as designed, tripped the engine and activated the suppression system.

“The remaining engines and battery energy storage system attempted to pick up the load but the frequency of the system became unstable and resulted in the loss of the remaining generating units as further protection systems were engaged.

“The engine connected with the damaged VT has now returned to service following additional testing, ensuring that there is sufficient capacity to meet the island’s energy demand.

“The damaged VT has been removed and replaced and will be sent overseas for forensic analysis as BELCO staff continue to investigate the root cause of the incident.”

BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “We thank the public for its patience through the events of Friday. On days like Friday, we saw the resiliency and cooperation of Bermudians all across the island as we worked to restore our electricity. This cooperation extends to government officials and even our emergency response teams.

“We are also proud of the BELCO team who worked well into the night to restore power to our customers. A restoration effort like the one required for a system like ours is a challenging exercise of balancing supply and demand and our teams answered the challenge.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. Spin, spin and more spin! says:

    Lol, was there a football game on? If Competent staff had been paying attention they would have balanced the load. BELCO could balance the load 10 or 20 years ago. Who is running the place? Yes, I’m sure you had to account for all staff because it appears key personnel were busy with something else on a Friday afternoon!! Spin all you want.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      BELCO staff have no way to manually adjust things the way they did 20 years ago. Everything is computerised now. Don’t blame the staff until you have all the facts.

  2. Thank you says:

    It rarely happens in Bermuda. So glad to hear you had the staff to rectify the situation.

  3. Question says:

    So they’ve done their Root. Cause. Analysis.

  4. Spin, spin and more spin! says:

    I apolize for my initial comment. I’m not too good with words and I don’t think before commenting, lol. This is the only place I feel heard, so I act up. Feels good to get this off my chest.

  5. Tom says:

    The problem was belco didn’t have the capacity to power all those free light bulbs given out by d government!

    • sandgrownan says:

      This is a cluster-you-know-what of epic proportions by incompetents, but the new bulbs would have been LED’s and use less power….so happy to pile on in the criticism, but this isn’t it.

  6. Just sayin says:

    Smith’s had another outage last night from 9pm to midnight. I have not heard what the ” root cause analysis ” was on that disruption, yet again.
    Yes we had wind but I have had lights for so much longer in a hurricane.
    Can Belco explain the ” root cause analysis” on this and please dont blame the weather.

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