An overview of what is taking place at the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was shared with island residents on Friday, May 4th during an informational fair held at the Central Park. The event showcased some of BEL’s key departments regarding safety, customer service, and projects while highlighting the company’s future projections of power supply to Ambergris Caye and nearby Cayes.
One of the booths that caught the attention of almost everyone was the ‘projects’ department. According to the department project manager, Kevin Petzold, they are always exploring capital projects that can improve BEL’s infrastructure. He explained that the process involves years of planning, finance is obtained and then the project is implemented. One example is the upgrade of the Maskall Sub-station, which feeds a submarine cable that connects Ambergris Caye to the national power grid. “After that upgrade, the power outages in terms of frequency and duration in San Pedro reduced dramatically by about 80% since 2016,” said Petzold.
BEL is embarking on a feasibility study to make a determination on what is the best way in terms of strategy to supply power to the Cayes. “Some islands have no development, so we have to make a projection whether it will be developed and at what rate,” said Petzold. “Some islands have a lot of development, on-going development, and so there is a demand that keeps growing.” Petzold pointed out that the Cayes mentioned above are considered a chain of islands that they intend to interconnect, but they are looking at how best to do so, given the fact that all of them have different conditions. A preliminary study is underway to determine the implementation of renewable energy generated from the wind on the islands.
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