Load shedding woes, generation shortfall affects Dominica

By Rumi Samuel Published on September 18, 2023
Load shedding woes, generation shortfall affects Dominica

Dominica is experiencing electricity problems due to a generation shortfall, which has led to increased load shedding, leaving many consumers frustrated.  

With the Caribbean experiencing excessive heat, the timing couldn’t be worse.  

During a media conference today, the General Manager of Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC), Bertilia McKenzie, explained that DOMLEC is facing a generation shortfall due to an ageing generation fleet. She says over 10 megawatts of generation in the diesel section is past due for retirement. 

McKenzie also noted Dominica is experiencing an extremely dry season.  

In terms of solutions, she says the government has provided an 800-kilowatt generator, which was brought online on September 15. DOMLEC has also secured a generation consultant from Saint Lucia who has commenced working. Technical assistance has also been sought from Venezuela.  

Generators will be needed to address the pressing issue.  

The General Manager of DOMLEC said citizens can expect some relief by the first week of October and by the end of the year, certainly greater relief than they will experience by October. 

She adds Dominica can also pray for rain to get the hydro.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, said he had taken note of the comments and discomfort of citizens. He says the necessary support is being provided to DOMLEC from a government standpoint.

The DOMLEC board has been advised to inform him of actions it intends to take to address the immediate challenges of load shedding and what its recommendations and strategies are for the medium term.  

The prime minister says the procurement of new generators was also discussed with DOMLEC to address the situation in the medium term. He explained the government would have to assist DOMLEC in procuring the generators because if it were to do it alone, there would be an increase in tariff and the cost to consumers, which they are trying to mitigate against.  

“Based on what DOMLEC is saying to me, they see an increase in demand; it’s not only because of the heat, but there is an increase in demand, I guess, because of the growth of the economy and people utilising more energy. So there is a real increase in demand, and we have old generators that may have issues and, of course, the hydro situation with the dropping of the water levels.”  

The prime minister said the energy issues have to be addressed as he noted the World Creole Music Festival is coming up where there will be a high use of energy.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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