At a time when business is booming on Grand Cay, residents and businesses on the small community continue to grapple with frequent interruptions to power supply.
According to residents, the problem has escalated to the point where they are experiencing power outages every ten minutes.
We’re told this summer is the busiest it has ever been on Grand Cay with tourists flocking to the cay for a tropical island getaway. However, frequent outages have cast a dark shadow on what should be a bright period for Grand Cay’s economy.
“Power was out for almost a whole day at a time,” lamented one repeat visitor who added, “It has never been like this. It is unlike anything I have ever seen. This community deserves more as they can’t afford to replace appliances and air conditioning units all of the time”.
Another visitor chimed in, “Thats awful. It’s amazing how Grand Cay is an afterthought seeing as how many people are visiting the area. Time for the government to treat all island communities equally.”
“The power was off more than it was on. This is getting ridiculous,” complained another tourist.
The challenges facing utility company Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) and executive management’s inability to provide a reliable source of electricity this summer have been well-documented.
Residents of North Andros, Mayaguana and Abaco have all felt the brunt of the company’s failure to keep the lights on.
A fire recently devastated North Andros’ power plant, leaving residents and businesses in the dark, days ahead of its biggest festival that attracts visitors.
Consumers have long complained of higher fuel bills coupled with a generation system that cannot meet demand to prevent daily blackouts.
Last month, President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association Robert “Sandy” Sands told members of the media that unreliable power generation, and in many instances a lack of standby power generation, is hurting the tourism product on the Family Islands.
He said many small family island hotels cannot supply 100 percent of their power in the event of a BPL failure, and many cannot supply any at all.
“Consistent, reliable electricity is also a critical part of tourism success, particularly in our Family Islands,” said Sands.