The number of people selling their excess renewable energy to the Barbados Light & Power Company has jumped overwhelmingly within the past year.
Managing Director of the BL&P Mark King told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that installations to the national grid under the Renewable Energy Rider, have now catapulted from 25 in June last year, to more than 200 up to last month.
“At the end of August,” King disclosed, “we had a little over 200 persons installed, which is over two megawatts of windstall (energy extracted from wind turbine) capacity right now. We are quite happy with that. When you think about it, between June last year and August this year, the number went like from 25 to 208, just in that relatively short period of time; and the pilot programme was actually in operation for two years and by the end of the pilot programme, we had like 25 persons on, and then it just escalated exponentially.”
He attributed this in part, to a substantial drop in the price of PV systems over the last year.
“What has happened in the last year, is that the price of the PV systems has fallen very rapidly, very, very significantly the price has fallen; and with government’s incentives, its tax incentives and so on, it’s now a very viable option for people. So I think those are the things that have driven the adoption of the renewable energy; and you know, the price of electricity has not necessarily fallen significantly, cause oil prices still remain relatively high,” declared the Light & Power Company’s administrator.
“You would know that the Fair Trading Commission has ruled on the Renewable Energy Rider. Things continue to progress in that area. The uptake has continued to improve at a very high rate. People are signing on to the renewable energy rider. We haven’t had any major issues,” King revealed.
“The major issue,” he observed, ”that a lot of the vendors of systems have commented about, is the actual upper limit that has been set. But if you look at the decision that the Fair Trading Commission handed down, the upper limit has been set pending the results of an integrated intermittent renewable energy penetration study.
“The managing director suggested that this was critical to ensuring the stability of the grid.
“We have started that study. We have brought in… we have contracted some external consultants to assist us in that particular area and we expect that the results from that study should be available, maybe by the middle of next year, at the latest, certainly,” the BL&P top executive said.
King said once that study was in and those results determined, the power company would have a much firmer idea as to how much the system could handle without mitigation.
“Because the key here is what additional things you have to do to the network to support the intermittency and to avoid instability problems; and there is always a cost associated with that, so we will get those numbers out of the study,” he stated. (EJ)