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November 13 Interruption in Power

November 14, 2012

The Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) wishes to apologize to the public for the widespread interruption in service last evening which impacted customers for up to two hours

The power interruption occurred at approximately 8:30p on Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Our crews were immediately deployed to begin resolving the issue. By 9:45p, GBPC began restoring electricity supply to affected customers and full power was restored to all customers by 11:00p.

Since last night’s outage, we have conducted a full assessment of the issues and found that salt contamination on insulators was the root cause of the power interruption. When this type of short circuit occurs, our protective equipment senses it as a problem, resulting in automatic de-energizing to protect the electrical system from further damage

This issue is a direct result of the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane brought high winds and storm surges but little rain, resulting in significant salt deposits on electrical infrastructure. We haven’t had substantial rainfall since the storm, which means that much of the salt on our lines remains. While safe, the humming sound customers might hear from our lines is evidence of salt contamination.  The remedy is to wash the equipment down using pump trucks, a time-consuming task which can only be performed safely on de-energized lines. That means planned outages, which we know is inconvenient for our customers.