Statement AIP: School Solar System Still Turned off After Nearly Four Years of Waiting

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March 28, 2018

Philip Holdom, the President of Alternative Power Supply Ltd, a Leading Bahamian Solar Company, is informing the National Press that June of 2018 marks the anniversary of a very significant solar event…

June 2018 will mark the fourth year that a “State of the Art” educational solar system at a prominent Bahamian high school continues to remain turned OFF, after nearly four years of waiting, due to a failure of the Ministry of Works to complete the inspection process.

Alternative Power Supply, Ltd. and a generous resident of the Bahamas, were pleased to donate the solar system nearly four years ago to provide a “State of the Art Renewable Energy system for the education of young persons in the Bahamas, in environmentally sound technologies”.

Mr. Holdom also created a curriculum and intended to teach classes on renewable energy, science and solar system mathematics, using the live, real time solar system as an interactive tool in the classroom.

Mr. Holdom indicated that “the students were extremely excited to interact with the solar system on their smart phones and on the classroom white board…but the system has never been allowed to be turned ON and four years of students have received no benefit at all! In addition, a $5,000.00 battery bank was destroyed from not being solar charged.

Alternative Power Supply is now watching the second battery bank it had to install, suffer the same fate!”.

Mr. Holdom said, with regret, “We are extremely disappointed that such a valuable learning tool, could not be used in the past four years to educate, train and encourage young persons to understand and embrace renewable energy.

It is a complete tragedy that the students who so excitedly watched the system being installed, have now graduated and never got to interact with the incredibly “Smart Solar System.

The latest semester of students, also have no access to their solar system!” Alternative Power Supply has been through the old version of the “solar inspection process” and the new inspection process, because the new rules do not allow previously inspected solar systems to be “grandfathered”.

Mr. Holdom stated with disbelief, “Even though the solar system has passed the URCA inspection and is installed to the highest standard, the solar system commissioning continues to be held up by the Ministry of Works…this has been going on for almost four years!”

Alternative Power Supply has submitted the requisite MOW Electrical A&E form four times and refuses to re-apply, at the MOW’s request, for a fifth time. Mr. Holdom was adamant when he stated, “Why should we have to complete a fifth inspection of the same system, simply because the MOW cannot keep track of their own records and paperwork?” “Enough is enough”, Mr. Holdom said, “It is time for the Ministry of Works to simply get the system inspected, passed and turned ON. Alternative Power Supply will no longer take part in this completely disgraceful, four-year charade.

In addition, I request the Minister of Works and the Chamber of Commerce to commence an investigation, to determine how such a level of incompetence and “smoke and mirrors” can be allowed to occur against a legitimate Bahamian Business.”

Mr. Holdom added that, “There have been many Senior Public Officials over the past four years, who were fully aware of this egregious situation, and there needs to be accountability in the Public Sector”.

Mr. Holdom complained, “I hear continuously, that If you wish to “tip” your way thru the process, you will have no issues, but if you wish to conduct legitimate business, to a professional standard and expect certain public servants to simply “do their job”, then you will pay a mighty price”.

Mr. Holdom further indicated that two public servants at the MOW have effectively “taken a donated school solar system and made it cost the donors more than twice the original amount.

The greatest cost, though is that these types of public servants disgrace the office they hold, frustrate the public and business sectors and make our nation look like a Banana Republic on the world stage and amongst professional Bahamians!”

Mr. Holdom has worked with three successive Administrations of Bahamas Government to promote the Solar Industry and to push for and attempt to create a timely, professional, straight forward and legitimate inspection process.

Mr. Holdom reported, “I cannot believe that it takes four years for a country to inspect and pass a simple solar system that powers ten LED lights and six plugs and is for educational purposes! And to add insult to injury, it is likely that no one will be fired!”

Mr. Holdom stated, “The level of ineptitude, unprofessionalism, stonewalling, obfuscation and blatant failure to perform a simple public duty, that has occurred at the Ministry of Works in the past four years is simply incomprehensible.

We cannot move forward as a Nation, nor be taken seriously on the world stage when we cannot complete simple tasks that any reasonable person could comprehend and deal with!”.

Mr. Holdom further added, “This is evidenced by the length of time it takes to inspect a solar system, or as another example, the years it has taken to address the dump fires. Senior Public Officials must hold their departmental workers accountable when they betray the public trust and create insurmountable obstacles for legitimate Bahamian Businesses to simply conduct their trade in a professional manner”.

Mr. Holdom stated that, “This school is a complete Case Study in why our standing on the world stage is abysmal in our “Ease of Doing Business”, because we have certain long term public servants who hinder the progress of the nation, refuse to do their jobs in a professional manner and refuse to work in conjunction with local licensed businesses to bring about a win-win solution for the Bahamian Public.

There are many public servants who do excellent work, but businesses are often held hostage by a few people that simply do not understand their primary duty to serve the public in a professional manner”.

Mr. Holdom added that, “The most incomprehensible part of this completely unnecessary soap opera, is that three Administrations of Government officials, from the highest to the lowest ranking, could not look at a simple issue, make a decision and get the system passed.

This is the greatest continuing failure of our elected officials.

We have communicated this tragedy to the “Who’s Who” of this nation and no one in the past four years can make a decision to turn the system on and allow the children to be educated in renewable energy.”

“In the end”, Mr. Holdom concluded, “the children are the ones who pay the price when elected officials in our nation can’t get their act together.”

Mr. Philip Holdom was born in Nassau and graduated from St. Andrews High School. He has three college degrees and is an Award Winning, Solar Integrator with 28 years’ experience, designing, installing and servicing solar and wind systems. Alternative Power Supply, Ltd. is a Certified Outback Power Authorized Dealer and Repair Center. Mr. Holdom has lectured extensively in Renewable Energy and spent the past decade attempting to move the Bahamian solar industry forward by informing three administrations of government and developing solar curriculums for private schools and BTVI.




News date : 03/28/2018

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