Tue | Jul 7, 2020

JPS says Saharan dust could impact power supply

Published:Friday | June 26, 2020 | 11:13 AM
File photo

As the Saharan dust continues to linger over the island, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is indicating that it could have an impact on the reliability of power supply.

According to JPS’ VP for Energy Delivery, Blaine Jarrett, the settling of the dust on the power delivery infrastructure could lead to power outages.

“The heavy dust represents an increase in contaminants on the system, which can result in short-circuit conditions – especially if we have light rain,” he explained in a statement.

“JPS has been closely monitoring the situation and has intensified our maintenance activities to ensure limited disruption in power supply to our customers. However, in the event of power outages, JPS teams are on standby to respond as quickly as possible to restore service to affected customers,” Jarrett said.

JPS is also reminding customers to monitor their electricity usage during this time when they are encouraged to stay indoors.

“With the higher temperatures, it is likely that more persons will be using their fans and air conditioning units, and going into their refrigerators more frequently. We encourage you to use what you need as efficiently as possible,” Blaine Jarrett said.

The power company has also indicated that persons with solar panels may see a drop in the power produced by these panels because the Saharan Dust has reduced the impact of the sun's rays.

This could result in these customers taking more power than usual from the grid.

 In light of this, Jarrett is urging even more self-monitoring by customers.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.