Dominica is currently grappling with electricity issues. There are frequent power outages due to a shortage in power generation, causing frustration among many citizens, especially during an excessive heat wave in the Caribbean that is worsening the situation.
Bertilia McKenzie, the General Manager of Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC), has explained that the company is facing a generation shortfall due to an aging fleet of generators.
Over 10 megawatts of power generation in the diesel section is overdue for retirement, further compounding the problem.
Additionally, Dominica is experiencing an arid season, which is adding to the power shortage.
To address the issue, the government has provided an 800-kilowatt generator, which was brought online on September 15.
DOMLEC has also acquired the services of a generation consultant from Saint Lucia to provide technical assistance. Furthermore, help has been sought from Venezuela. However, the pressing issue will require additional generators to be brought online.
McKenzie mentioned that citizens can expect some relief by the first week of October, and the situation will improve further by the end of the year. She also revealed that the hydro could help if there were enough rain.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has taken note of citizens’ complaints and promised to provide necessary support from a governmental standpoint.
The DOMLEC board has been advised to inform him about their plan of action to address the immediate challenges of power outages, as well as their recommendations and strategies for the medium term.
The prime minister discussed the procurement of new generators with DOMLEC to address the situation in the medium term.
However, he explained that the government would have to assist DOMLEC in procuring the generators to keep the tariff and cost to consumers as low as possible.
The prime minister acknowledged that the demand for electricity increased not only because of the heat but also because of the growing economy and more energy utilization by people.
He emphasized that the energy issues must be addressed, especially with the upcoming World Creole Music Festival, which will require high energy use.