CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Nevisians are benefiting from a more reliable electricity supply, according to Gilroy Pultie, General Manager of the Nevis Electricity Company Limited (NEVLEC).
“The strides the company has made in the past year are expected to provide an even higher rate of reliability,” explained Pultie. “Reliability in my mind is at a fairly high-level right now. Yes, there is room for improvement but it is quite good.
“I believe the plans that we’ve had, plans that we have started to roll out over the next year, two years, at the most,” he continued. “I think the reliability of the supply in Nevis is going to be on par or better than a lot of islands in the region because we already getting close to that…and customers are already enjoying the benefits of our more reliable supply.
“They can expect it to be even more reliable and even with a small storm the system is going to be a lot more resilient,” explained Pultie. “The level of damage is going to be less and we will be able to restore much more quickly than a few years ago. “Our customers have already begun to see the benefits of this but they can expect to see a lot more over the next year to two years.”
Pultie said the workers had embraced the challenge to better the electricity supply on the island.
“The guys have responded well,” he said. “The guys have worked hard and we have achieved a lot and you can see the results.
“The work we have been doing to improve the reliability on the transmission and distribution side is in two different areas,” explained Pultie. ”We decided first of all to improve the redundancy in the grid. That means it provides more possibilities of feeding an area from different sources.”
Prior to 2019, in most of Nevis there was only one possibility of feeding electricity to the area. Pultie explained if they were required to work on the system in one area, many customers would be without electricity. That situation proved to be challenging for the company and they set out to rectify the matter.
“We decided because the system needed to be reinforced, there is a lot of work that needed to be done on the system,” said Pultie. “We did not want to be facing outages that affect so many customers at one time. We built redundancy into the system…We are putting a number of switches on the line so that we can isolate a much smaller area.”
Pulte gave examples of the work done so far to improve reliability of the electricity supply.
“We provided a connection to the Cotton Ground feeder from the Charlestown feeder,” explained Pulte. “The line going into town feeds the town and ended in town. We were able to create a ring to tie it back to the Cotton Ground feeder. That tie is done around the section of the by-pass road and the main road.
“If a vehicle were to crash into a pole on the by-pass road in the vicinity of the Artisan Village, at one time, everybody would have been out from Prospect to Camps for six hours, while the pole was replaced.
“If that were to happen now, Pulte said, “we would be able to isolate that problem to between [St. Kitts -Nevis] Observer and just before the Island Main Road. We would be able to feed up to The Observer from the Cotton Ground feeder. The rest of the areas from the by-pass all the way up to Camps would receive service from the Charlestown 1 feeder.
We have connected to it, and the upper part of it would connect to Gingerland via the West Coast,” said Pulte. “That was the first prong of our efforts at improving reliability.”
Gilroy Pultie, General Manager of the Nevis Electricity Company Limited, at the Department of Information’s office.