Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (“BELCO”) today welcomed reports published by the Bermuda Regulatory Authority (RA) on the island-wide power outage that occurred on Friday, December 18th 2020.
The incident, which occurred 18 months ago, was the result of BELCO personnel performing a standard operating procedure which led to an equipment failure at the North Power Station (NPS). This caused a cascade of built-in safety mechanisms to be triggered that ultimately shutoff power to the entire island. When the fault occurred, the safety mechanisms performed as designed and prevented what could have been serious damage to the generating equipment and grid and further delays for repairs and restoration of power.
When the incident occurred, and in the investigation that followed, BELCO was in constant communication with BWSC who built and commissioned the plant. BELCO was also in regular communication and cooperation with the RA in relation to the incident. BELCO, in collaboration with BWSC, identified the root cause of the failure and has taken steps to resolve the issue.
The BELCO investigation found that the outage resulted from a failure of the Uninterruptible Power Supply (“UPS”) that supports the NPS. Working with BWSC, the UPS was modified, tested and commissioned successfully. In addition, BELCO commissioned an independent audit performed by a third party to review of the commissioning process of the NPS which has since been providing reliable power to Bermuda for the last 18 months.
BELCO will review the reports and continue to work with the RA to implement all recommendations and actions as outlined in the reports.