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Power Outage: San Pedro’s High Demand Trips Supply to Island

Unprecedented Power Demand in San Pedro, causing power outages

Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) says that it is monitoring an unprecedented power demand in San Pedro Ambergris Caye over this weekend. On Saturday, March 23, 2024, the demand for electricity on the island of San Pedro surpassed the power capacity of the submarine cable that connects San Pedro to the national grid, causing a power outage.

BEL is encouraging its customers and the public on the island to assist them with implementing energy conservation measures where possible. Hot and humid weather conditions and the activities leading up to and through the Easter weekend are expected to place further strain on the capacity of the electricity supply on the island.

Power Outage Solutions

To alleviate the capacity constraints on the island, BEL is working arduously on deploying a mobile gas turbine in the vicinity of the port that is expected to be commissioned by the end of May 2024. This facility will serve as a temporary solution to address the growing energy needs of our Customers in San Pedro and to facilitate urgent maintenance that has to be carried out on the submarine cable.

Additionally, BEL and the Government are working together to set up a battery energy storage solution on BEL’s property on the island. This is expected to come online in 2025 and will provide further capacity support during periods of high demand.

The long-term solution in San Pedro to lessen power outages is the installation of a second submarine cable from the mainland to the northern portion of the island, which will be rated at around three times the capacity of the existing submarine cable and will be able to supply the energy needs of the island for many years to come. Once this is installed and commissioned, the mobile gas turbine will be moved to the mainland.

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