Local Ministers and Grand Bahama Port Authority Executives attended the Grand Bahama Power Company ground breaking for the newly named West Sunrise plant. The Hon. Neko C. Grant, Minister of Public Works and Transport, addressed guests at the ceremony and expressed his excitement about the ensuing economic opportunities due to the large investment.
“The diesel plant (state-of-the-art facility) will be constructed at a cost of $80 Million and will provide some 70 jobs for Bahamians during construction. At this time when the economic downturn has had a negative impact on employment levels in The Bahamas, as in other countries; this opportunity for additional employment on Grand Bahama is welcomed.”
The 80 million dollar generation plant will be constructed on 6 acres of land adjacent to the current Steam Plant, and will significantly improve levels of reliability and stabilize electricity costs for Grand Bahama. Emera is able to make the $80 million investment into the plant with no base rate increase to customers due to a new rate structure granted by the company’s regulators, the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
“Today marks a turning point in the energy future for the Grand Bahama Power Company and the Island of Grand Bahama,” noted Sarah MacDonald, President & CEO of GBPC, “We are not merely constructing a diesel plant on this ground but making an investment in the future of this island.” She went on to add, “This is just the start of the plans we have for this company. Emera believes that the Grand Bahama Power Company has the ability to not only meet but also surpass the electric expectations of our customers. This groundbreaking ceremony represents a very important step towards achieving our overall vision as we work towards keeping Grand Bahama’s future bright.”
Also in attendance was the Member of Parliament for Eight Mile Rock, Verna Grant, who commented on the impact the new plant would have on reliability and efficiency for customers of the GBPC. “Emera’s investment in the construction of this 52MW diesel plant is evidence of their commitment to providing residents with a higher quality of service and improved reliability, which is of special importance to the customers in West Grand Bahama,” commented Mrs. Grant.
The 52MW plant is slated to be completed by late summer 2012 and represents Emera’s longer-term strategy to delivering a higher quality of electric service and making improvements to reliability. As a short-term solution to the islands stability issues, Emera has invested in bringing in 45MW of supplemental generation to meet the summer demands in Grand Bahama.