Overview

In March 2020, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) announced that a new GE TM2500 was ready to start operating at the Blue Hills Power Plant.

The challenge

Solar energy has always been another source of green power for the Bahamas, but in order to make it efficient, it requires a very stable grid to connect to. In the current situation, where the grid is at limit and the frequency is not stable, the GE gas turbine can help bringing more stability to the system. Additionally, hurricanes and inclement weather can make access to reliable power challenging.

The solution

The new TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine unit will supply up to 34 MW, enough energy to power the residential consumption of between 12,000 and 18,000 customers, and may potentially help stabilize the country’s grid. Even more impressive, the installation and commissioning of the equipment was completed in only 42 days.

Outcomes

Helping the Bahamas meet its goals

34 MW

TM2500 output

42 days

installation time

6.6 million

visitors to the Bahamas annually

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The highest peak of energy consumption during summer in New Providence is 250 MW and in winter goes down to 160-170 MW. Having an additional of up to 34 MW is significant for our operation and will allow us to deliver a better service to our customers and to the millions of tourists who visit us every year. On top of that, this kind of technology could enable us to respond more quickly to natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian.

K. Quincy Parker

Director of Public Relations of BPL

The deployment of the mobile gas turbine by GE Gas Power will potentially support the improvement of frequency control of the grid, which is expected to help reduce power outages and eventually facilitate the connection of more renewable generation.

In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian reached category 5 when it made a landfall in Elbow Cay, in Abaco. In the following days, the storm moved to other zones of the country. So far, it is the strongest known tropical system to impact The Bahamas, leaving 73,000 people affected.

With a mobile power plant like the one just installed in Blue Hills, BPL will potentially be able to reach areas impacted with natural events like tropical storms and hurricanes of the intensity of Dorian. By getting the technology up and running as required, and allowing the unit to go from cold metal to full power output in approximately 5 minutes, needs such as medical care, water, shelter and food might be met in a short period of time.