BLPC says no attempt to control energy industry
The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BLPC) has dismissed criticism that it is trying to control what happens in the renewable energy industry in Barbados.
Far from that, managing director designate Roger Blackman said today, the BLPC has been facilitating the growth of the industry by being proactive in introducing the Renewable Energy Rider (RER) programme which facilitates the sale of excess electricity to the grid by customers using solar photovoltaic or wind renewable energy systems.
“To begin with, we don’t set energy policy. Government sets energy policy and the utility, as well as the regulator for that matter, execute the policy,” he said.
“The comments in relation to putting barriers in place to achieving Government’s targets really aren’t quite founded on any real facts because, as I mentioned, the targets that are set appear to be, based on the plans, very achievable,” added Blackman.
“I think one of the issues that arises is that everyone doesn’t recognise that renewable is not only the Renewable Energy Rider or one type of renewable energy source. There are a number of renewable energy sources, some are intermittent like solar and wind and those are the ones that are rolling out on the renewable energy programme, and then some are firm capacity meaning that you can turn them up and down depending on the demand, and those will be things like biomass, landfill gas to energy, waste to energy, all of which are in the energy plans going forward,” added Blackman.
He also sought to dismiss the suggestion that Emera Caribbean Renewables, to which BLPC is linked would get any unfair advantage in the process of expanding the sector in Barbados.
Emera is majority owner of Light & Power Holdings Limited, which is the parent company of BLPC.
“Emera Caribbean Renewables is a separate company under our group . . . They are treated no differently than any other installer in the market by the utility,” asserted Blackman, adding that the company had to go through the same steps as any other renewable energy company on the island.
He also noted that any system that was being connected to the grid had to go through a process, which involved inspection by the Government and the BLPC.