RA Statement on Island-wide Power Outage
The RA has released its statement on the island-wide power outage from February 3, 2023.
Statement from the RA’s Chief Executive regarding the recent Belco outage
On Friday afternoon, every Bermuda resident experienced the sudden and unexpected loss of electricity. The Regulatory Authority (“the RA”), is Bermuda’s independent regulator over the electricity sector, and recognizes what Bermuda’s residents have experienced, and we are working with BELCO to reduce the likelihood of future events. Risk to life and limb are the primary concern with such incidents and the RA is pleased to note there were no reported harm to anyone. We can confirm that BELCO notified the RA, as legislation requires, to keep us abreast of developments throughout their restoration process. This included efforts to restore power to critical infrastructure, such as the hospital and Hamilton, plus updates until the last main circuit was restored.
BELCO has publicly committed to thoroughly investigate the incident. Legislation empowers the RA to investigate incidents, and, on this basis, we will receive BELCO’s outage report, to independently scrutinize it for robust solutions. Based on our investigative experience, we expect improvements that the report yields will be applicable to all equipment similar to that which failed, not just the specific assets in this case. We encourage patience as BELCO remains in the early stages of their investigation, which is a process that can take diligent professionals’ weeks to properly conclude. In the interim, the RA has advised the Utility that we expect them to provide the RA with weekly investigation status updates.
Such a national inconvenience is never a good thing and the best that can be done now is to use what transpired to reduce the risk of future events. The RA’s engineering staff have extensive experience investigating serious power plant incidents and are seeking robust changes based on what this investigation reveals.
The RA must operate with as much transparency as practicable and, as BELCO has done for similar past events, we expect it will commit to the same in this case. With our independent expertise taking steps to ensure the utility addresses the sudden and unexpected loss of electricity appropriately, the public can expect a suitably tailored, independent update from the RA in the coming months.
The Regulatory Authority of Bermuda