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The Government is moving closer to its goal to reduce dependence on various fossils fuels and aggressively use more renewable sources of energy, including solar, said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
The Prime Minister was speaking on Thursday 5 March at the “first-fire” ceremony for a new GE TM2500 generator at Bahamas Power and Light’s Blue Hills Power Plant. Prime Minister Minnis officially started the engine during a tour at the site.
The new generator provides up to 34MW of power and is the latest in a number of improvements to power generation on the island. According to the GE website, the TM2500 works well for generating backup power in the wake of natural disasters, plant shutdowns or grid instability. The unit is natural gas/liquid fuel capable.
“With this generator, Station A and the renewed focus on solar energy, we are doing the smart and fiscally prudent things that must be done to ensure reliable power for all of New Providence,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
The TM2500 will also allow BPL to begin to draw down on rental generation which will lead to millions of dollars in savings, said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Minnis said that once BPL and Shell have completed their negotiations, Shell has committed to constructing an LNG facility at a location near the Clifton Pier Power Station.
This means that BPL will be able to switch all of its newest generation assets – including this new TM2500 – to LNG.
“The new TM2500 supports my Government’s push toward cleaner, more reliable, less expensive energy,” said the Prime Minister.
“The flexibility of the new machine with regard to the types of fuel it can burn, with no appreciable loss in output, is vitally important to us as we seek to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Actions being taken by this administration to reduce high energy costs will reduce the cost of living and cost and ease of doing business in The Bahamas, said Prime Minister Minnis.
Also attending Thursday’s ceremony were Minister of Works, the Hon. Desmond Bannister; Stephanie Bowers, Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy, Nassau; and BPL and AERO GE Power officials.
The Prime Minister said that in addition to the $3 million micro-grid under construction on Ragged Island, the Government has ambitious plans to solarize some of the Abaco Cays and areas on the Abaco mainland devastated by Hurricane Dorian, through public-private partnerships.
A program of installing micro-grids to help power various public buildings has already started in New Providence.
Solar energy and other renewable sources of energy are part of the Government’s broader and ambitious vision and agenda to revolutionize and transform the energy sector “in order to build a modern 21st century Bahamas,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
“We will deliver more secure, more efficient, cleaner and less expensive energy for Bahamians and residents,” said the Prime Minister. “There is still much work to be done. But we are on the way to a much better and more secure energy future.”