SKELEC’s General Manager Explains Reason for Frequent Power Outages

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKN SOURCE) — The St. Kitts Electricity Company Limited’s (SKELEC) General Manager, Mr. Clement Jomo Williams, is explaining the causes of the frequent power outages that occur around the island. 

On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, Mr. Williams appeared as a guest on SKELEC’s Power Talk show on ZIZ Radio, which was hosted by Corporate Communications Manager Ms. Patrice Harris. 

“There have been a number of outages that have been plaguing SKELEC as a result of reduced capacity. One a day to day basis, SKELEC, at current, just has enough capacity to meet the demand and just yesterday [Sept. 26], two significant failures on two generators which saw the team working into the wee hours of the morning trying to rectify so that they can get power restored…and there was a vehicle accident this morning [Sept. 27] which further added to the reduction of load because the vehicle impacted a pole and a transmission line,” Mr. Williams said. 

Caribbean islands, including St. Kitts and Nevis, have received excessive heat advisories. According to these warnings, extremely hot circumstances will occur from the convergence of high temperatures, comparatively high humidity, and low winds. Mr. Williams took advantage of the occasion to discuss the potential effects of the current extreme heat on the SKELEC generators. 

“The operations team at the generation division make their predictions as to what the load is expected to be from previous forecasting and what the current conditions of the generators are. It could be a case where, on a cool day, you’re able to run the engines a little harder because they don’t have as much cooling to do. But when it’s a very hot day, and we have been experiencing some very hot days, it’s a lot harder to keep the generators running cool and efficient.

On those hot days, we may have to reduce the running capacity of the generator so that we don’t overheat it and cause further damage which could be detrimental to us,” General Manager Williams explained. 

To lessen the strain on the engines, SKELEC has adopted a load-shedding schedule in several parts of the island. People who are still without electricity after the planned blackouts should dial 465-2013 or 600 from a mobile phone to report the problem.  

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