Friday, February 11, 2005

Rolling Blackouts

Well, Sandra and I are going to Curacao on Monday to see a Neurologist, but that is not the kind of blackouts I'm referring to.

After the big fire last weekend, there isn't quite enough generating capacity on the island to meet the demand, so we are having four hour long power outages in the different neighborhoods of Bonaire on a rotating basis. Our power in Hato was off from 8 pm to midnight on Tuesday, from 4 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, from noon to 4pm on Thursday, and from 8 am to noon today.

The TWR studios and offices are on a different schedule, but it is predictable, which helps a lot. Long time readers of my blog will remember my posts about our new standby generator at the studios. (see the January 2004 link in the archives list on the right margin of this page)
I'm happy to report that it is working well, and it is saving the day right now.

WEB, the power company has done a good job of making sure our big AM transmitter has power when we need it for our international broadcasts. We are very thankful for that. Our local FM transmitter, on the other hand, is off for four hours each day, on the same schedule as our home in Hato.

Some of you who have lived on Bonaire may remember Sigfried Quarton, an Engineer with the power company. He went in to work when the fire started at 4:30 am and didn't get back home until 3:30 am the next day. Then, after a short sleep, he was out again. His wife says she has hardly seen him this week. So the WEB guys are working hard on fixing things.

A big standby generator or two arrived from Curacao on Wed. night and they hope to have them online by the end of the weekend. (the CAT genset I saw filled a whole 40 foot container - so it's a wee bit bigger than the one we installed last year)

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