Power Rationing Leaves Belizeans in the Dark: BEL Grapples with Electricity Shortage

Power Rationing Leaves Belizeans in the Dark: BEL Grapples with Electricity Shortage

Residents in Belmopan, San Pedro and several areas in the south experienced power outage after the Belize Electricity Limited was forced to ration power.  A release from the company confirms that the supply of electricity was curtailed by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in Mexico last night between the hours of 7:30pm and 9m.  According to the CFE, the demand for electricity in Mexico has been rapidly increasing due to the growth in tourist arrivals at the popular tourist destinations.  With both Belize and Mexico experiencing this growth, the need for electricity has surged causing the CFE to cut back on its supply to Belize.  BEL is then forced to rely on the power generated in-country to meet consumer demands.  In last night’s case, the amount of power needed in the country surpassed what was locally available, causing BEL to conduct a shedding exercise or a rationing of power.  According to BEL, it is expecting this cut back from the CFE to continue in the coming months with a possible increase in the longer run.  In that vein, BEL says it is upgrading the gas turbine at BEL’s West Lake facility at mile 8 on the George Price Highway which is expected to be completed by early May.  The company is also installing a mobile gas turbine in San Pedro before the end of next month.  With these in place, it is anticipated that an additional thirty megawatts of power will be generated.  In addition to this, BEL is encouraging and facilitating the development of utility-scale solar generation sources supported by gas power plants and battery storage solutions as required by their Least Cost System Expansion Plan.

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