Barbadian consumers can look forward to paying reduced light bills as the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) projects lower energy costs as it moves towards greater use of renewable energy.
This is one of the major findings of a study on Renewable Energy Intermittent Penetration, just released by the BL&P and posted on its website.
The study says new wind and solar resources will displace expensive oil generation and lead to significant reductions in energy production costs between $19 million and $62.5 million per year, a reduction of five to 15 per cent.
“In addition, by reducing the overall oil consumption in the generation mix, wind and solar will act as a hedge against future oil market and currency volatility,” the power company said.
The report also stated that increased use of renewables will allow Barbados to utilize domestic energy resources, thus decreasing the dependence on foreign fuel imports.
In the scenarios analyzed, total oil consumption for energy generation is projected to drop by approximately 66 000 barrels to 225 000 barrels of oil per year.
The study was the first of its kind done by Light & Power, and included specialized and complex wind and solar models to help in determining the results.
While the Fair Trading Commission was ultimately responsible for the decision to increase the allowable amount of intermittent energy, the results of the so-called IP study provided the basis for their determination.
In a press release, Light & Power’s Manager, Systems Planning and Performance, Johann Greaves, said the study also provided recommendations on the process for connecting intermittent renewables to the system.
“We needed to know of any changes required to our existing interconnection standards and the maximum allowable intermittent renewable energy limit that could be accommodated on the existing system without mitigation measures.
“It was also important for us to be aware of the measures and associated costs required to accommodate the increasing intermittent renewable energy penetration levels,” Greaves said.