by Larry Smith
The new Progressive Liberal Party government issued its first statement on the future of energy in the Bahamas recently, and all signals were positive.
In a communication to parliament, Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said the government was committed to lowering the cost of electricity by continuing to upgrade generating plants on New Providence and pursuing renewable energy initiatives.
"Reliability upgrades, replacement and rehabilitation of auxilliary equipment, and considering additional heavy fuel baseload generation, is an integral part of reducing electricity prices, and is a priority for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation," he said. "Increasing baseload generation could save BEC $100 million annually."
But achieving such savings would require significant upfront investments in new plant. Former BEC Chairman Michael Moss has said the corporation's bottom line can't sustain that level of investment without heavy capital inputs from the government, which is already struggling under a $550 million budget deficit.