With the very real threat of natural disasters, preparing for unexpected events is an ongoing process at Grenlec. This requires us to continually improve the strength of our electricity system, recover rapidly from destructive weather occurrences and provide reliable, high-quality service to you.
Our team members implement both physical measures to reinforce the system against damage during storms, as well as the processes needed for rapid recovery after storms.
While Grenada survived last year’s hurricanes that hit the Caribbean, neighbouring islands are still recovering. To assist, Grenlec sent crews to help restore power in Tortola, Anguilla and Dominica after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. As a member of the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), Grenlec receives and provides recovery support to sister islands to help restore electricity service after storms.
Learning from Experience
In 2004 Hurricane Ivan devastated Grenada and Grenlec suffered significant damage to its distribution system. However, due to good planning, design and investments, the generation assets were largely unaffected and made operational within 24 hours of the storm’s passage. Guided by its Disaster Recovery Plan, Grenlec restored power rapidly to all critical locations for medical, water and public safety services.
Full restoration of the system was completed within a year. This rebuilding effort was assisted by several crews from Trinidad and Cuba as well as other neighbouring utilities through CARILEC.
“Resilience and redundancy were designed into the restoration plan and processes as Grenlec rebuilt the electrical system in Grenada,” says Murray Skeete, WRB Energy Vice President of Engineering & Regulation and Director of Grenlec.
Grenlec used multiple mobile generation systems throughout the nation to restore electricity more quickly.
Lastly, and very importantly, Grenlec also maintains a self-insurance fund which ensures quick access to capital, restoration materials, and services after natural disasters. The Hurricane Reserve, which increased to $24M by the end of 2017, is now well above the level of expenses ($20M) that resulted from Hurricane Ivan, giving some level of comfort that the risk to our distribution system is being minimised continuously.
Improving Resilience for Greater Reliability
Successfully preparing for and recovering from storms is a top priority for Grenlec at all levels—from engineering and field operations to customer service and communications. Maintaining the electric system and restoration processes, while providing the information you need to be safe before, during and after a storm, is our ongoing commitment.