A 20-megawatt expansion in capacity to 95 megawatts at the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) Cove Power Plant will meets the demands of a developing Tobago and make blackouts less likely.
Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, speaking at the commissioning of the expansion on Monday, said this “represents in a very real sense, the dawn of a new beginning for T&TEC and its operations on the island.
“Over the past months, we have been saddled with numerous instances of power outages for one reason or another… That notwithstanding, I suspect that the recent outages would have a source of frustration for most of us who reside here, and I am sure as well for T&TEC.
“With this expansion of capacity, and I suspect consistent with the pledge, T&TEC will seek to improve its distribution. We can leave here assured today that outages would be less likely going forward.”
Charles said that as the needs of the island changes and the demand for electricity grows, it was important that the Government, and by extension, T&TEC, keeps abreast of current trends and the resultant shift in demands taking place amongst the population.
“We have seen that T&TEC’s generating capacity… moved from 75 megawatts to now with this additional 20, it will go to 95 megawatts and of course there is an underground cable from Trinidad that brings another 15.
“Over time, what was being generated had become inadequate to meet the demands of the island and I suggest that continuing significant reliance on the supply of power from Trinidad via the submarine cable …may be a cause for concern. One just has to observe the rate of construction over the last decade and even at present to understand that the time has certainly come for a more reliable and homegrown source of power supply on the island,” he said.
Minister of Public Utilities, Robert Le Hunte, said the expansion, which cost $139.5 million, was one more milestone along the path of continued development for Tobago.
“And I am happy to report that it was done within time and within budget. As a result of this project, Tobago now has a maximum generating capacity of 95 megawatts which is 73 per cent of the peak demand. What this means, is that Tobago’s electricity supply is now poised and ready to meet the increased demand that will be a direct result of the island’s continued development,” he said.
The power station, located in the Cove Eco-Industrial and Business Park, was commissioned on October 3, 2009.