Due to its remote location, the archipelago of Bocas del Toro sometimes suffers from the disadvantage of random power outages. Until now, Isla Colon, the main island, has been powered by phase-one diesel generators that fall short, particularly at times when tourism peaks and many businesses are affected. Meanwhile, other islands are not connected to the national source of electricity and must rely on privately owned generators at a high cost to the people and to the environment. At 18-24 cents per kilowatt, the current diesel generation system is not only sub-par, but also expensive. All of that is about to change.
After ten years of planning, Union Fenosa will be replacing the current phase-one system of electricity on Isla Colon with new phase-three technology that will ultimately be more efficient and cost effective. This same technology will be applied in the first ever installation of electricity to Isla Carenero and Isla Bastimentos. This electricity source will be one of the most prevalent advances in Bocas’ recent history impacting thousands of residents. The installation will stop the sudden power outages that can be frustrating to residents and local businesses. The phase-three technology will provide a much more stable and safer platform to ensure consistent refrigeration, running water, and less interuptions when a child is trying to get homework completed. Health concerns due to interruptions of refrigeration will be a worry of the past.
Subaquatic lines will connect to Isla Carenero and Isla Bastimentos. The Old Bank and Bahia Rojo communities and all “off grid” properties in between will have access.
The access to a national power source will increase property values for those that live here. The environment will also be a beneficiary of the improved power source because property owners will have no incentive to continue using generators that burn expensive fossil fuels that emit carbon into a delicate island ecosystem.
Look for updates on the power installation in upcoming issues of the The Bocas Breeze (www.thebocasbreeze.com).