The Jamaica Public Service company, JPS, says the Saharan dust that continues to linger over the island could have an impact on the reliability of power supply, as well as on customers’ usage.
According to JPS’ Vice President for Energy Delivery, Blaine Jarrett, the settling of the dust on the power delivery infrastructure could lead to power outages.
In a statement to the media, he explained that the heavy dust represents an increase in contaminants on the system, which can result in short-circuit conditions – especially if there’s light rain.
Mr. Jarrett says JPS has been closely monitoring the situation, and has intensified its maintenance activities to ensure limited disruption in power supply to customers.
However, he says in the event of power outages, teams are on standby to respond as quickly as possible to restore service to affected customers.
Meanwhile, JPS says it’s reminding customers to monitor their electricity usage during this time.
The power company says with the higher temperatures, it’s likely that more persons will be using their fans and air conditioning units, and going into their refrigerators more frequently.
Mr. Jarrett is encouraging persons to use what they need as efficiently as possible.
And JPS is also indicating 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.
JPS says this could result in these customers taking more power than usual from the grid.
In light of this, Mr. Jarrett is urging even more self-monitoring by customers.
The Met Service says a second plume of the Saharan dust is expected to hover over the island this weekend.