Chairman of Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Board of Directors, Darnell Osbourne, addressed the history and future of the company’s integrated resource plans during the second day of the 18th Platts Caribbean Energy Conference. Mrs. Osbourne said although only approximately six months have passed since assuming the position as Chairman of the Board of BPL, much has transpired to move the company forward quickly. In addition to an impatient Bahamian populace screaming for reduced electricity rates and uninterrupted electrical supply, the challenges faced from the onset were: missing funds from a vendor fraud scheme; goals not being set or met; and a lack of innovation, creativity and the will to implement and transform the company.
The Chairman said it was imperative that a change had to come in order for the company to survive. “BPL needed a leadership team that would build a strong and sustainable culture within our company. As a board, we desired to create and perpetuate a culture that recognizes and embraces shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize the goals of our organization. “To achieve this, it was necessary to establish a culture that would touch and concern each and every member and facet of the company. We had to begin at the very top. We needed to have a clear and consistent vision of where we wanted to take the company going forward. We were keen to create a working and viable image of the company being ever mindful that persons internally and externally had an emotional view of the company and that unfortunately, its public perception was generally unfavorable.”
The board has made several recent appointments including Whitney Heastie to Chief Executive Officer of the management team, and Christina Alston as Chief Operating Officer. Mrs. Osbourne remarked that BPL has power production that embodies a safe, reliable, cost-efficient yet environmentally friendly operation, as a part of its future goals that meet the objectives of the Bahamas government. She said in this regard the board endorses six initiatives that also connect to the Government’s National Energy Policy. They are: security of energy supply through diversification of fuels; modernizing the country’s energy infrastructure; development of renewable energy sources such as solar, ocean energy, biofuels, waste to energy and wind; energy conservation and efficiency;
development of a comprehensive governance/regulatory framework to effectively support the advancement of the energy sector to be effectively able to facilitate the introduction of renewables and the diversification of fuels; and eco-efficiency in the manufacturing, agricultural and tourism sectors and government as leaders in energy conservation and the use of renewable energy. Mrs. Alston outlined how the initiatives of the Energy Policy will be implemented. The two-day conference was held at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Cable Beach. It zeroed in on topics facing the energy sector in the Caribbean including Market Structure and Stakeholder Alignment, Financing for Small Countries, Regional Demand, Fuel Conversion Viability, Renewable Energy, Managing Distributed Generation and Integrated Resource Plans.