Chief Operations Officer at the island’s sole electricity provider, Dominica Electricity Services Ltd DOMLEC, Dave Stamp has announced that the 800KW generator provided to the company by the Government of Dominica will improve and reduce the frequent power outages, however, he warns that it will not eliminate the problem.
Stamp was speaking at a press conference held at the DOMLEC office at Fond Cole.
“The 800KW unit will improve the situation a bit, but will not take us out of the load-shedding mode totally,” he revealed. “What it would do, is maybe reduce the amount and duration of load shedding that we would have, all things being equal, assuming we don’t develop any other problems with any other units.”
He said, “It will improve and reduce, but it won’t eliminate.”
Stamp said the company is seeking 2 megawatts with respect to its rental capacity.
“Hopefully if we get the additional 2 megawatts that we are seeking with respect to our rental capacity, that will then add another 2 megawatts to our system and we are pushing to get that in place hopefully before the end of the year,” he stated.
DOMLEC is also planning to get additional capacity beyond that initial solution which Stamp believes should put the company in a more stable situation.
“We are about 3.8 megawatts short of our firm capacity situation, so if we have 2 megawatts of rental and 2 megawatts of additional capacity plus 0.8 of the least capacity that we will get from the government, then that should bring us back on par with our firm capacity situation,” the Domlec official explained.
Meanwhile, General Manager of (DOMLEC), Bertillia McKenzie, said the ongoing power cuts which have been affecting Dominicans are also caused by a longer-than-projected dry season.
“Another cause would be a longer than projected dry season which has affected the diesel units, not only their overall output, how much they can give us to serve the public, but also how efficient they are,” she revealed. “The ambient temperature around these units is very high because it is hot.”
The dry spells have also affected DOMLEC’s hydro units which, according to McKenzie, are normally capable of contributing between 30 and 35 percent of generation.
Currently, because of the lack of rain, hydro is able to contribute less than 15 percent of electricity generation on the island with the Fresh Water Lake level now at 4.95 meters from an optimum of 8.65 meters.
In March 2022, the government of Dominica announced that it had acquired majority shares in DOMLEC with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit saying it was being done “in the best interest of electricity consumers, the shareholders and employees of the company, and Dominica.”
He said the move was in line with his government’s plan to make Dominica the first climate-resilient country in the world.
“The acquisition of DOMLEC aligns with our goals to build resilience in the energy sector through deliberate action to improve energy security, and strengthen growth and economic prospects. As part of our vision for a dynamic Dominica, we are pursuing greater efficiency in electricity generation to meet our national target of 100% clean, carbon-neutral energy by the year 2030,” Skerrit said.