New wind farm on the cards for St Lucy
It took approximately six years, but with approval already granted, the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) will soon be constructing a wind farm in Lamberts, St Lucy.
This was revealed Thursday by officials, who told journalists that with the company’s ten-megawatt solar farm nearing completion at Trents, St Lucy, they were already looking at “other potential sites” for additional solar projects.
Director of Customer Solutions Kim Griffith-Tang How explained that the Renewable Energy Rider (RER) programme had not yet reached full capacity. In fact, he said while there was a limit of 20 megawatts set by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), only 12 megawatt had been installed to date.
“We have given recommendation to the Division of Energy that . . . we can accommodate up to 45 megawatts on the grid at present. And we are still working with customers and installers to continue to add to our renewable energy rider,” she said.
Asked by Barbados TODAY why the company did not seek FTC approval for the full capacity, Griffith-Tang How said the pace depended on the customers.
Meanwhile, newly appointed BL&P Managing Director Roger Blackman said the company had its sights set on “going full scale” with the various forms of renewable energy.
“What we are aiming for is a portfolio of energy solutions,” he said.
“Even within the solar sector there is room for both distributed solutions and as well as utility scale systems. They both have a part to play,” he said, disclosing that the company’s system at Trents, St Lucy would be distributed to customers at about 15 per cent less than other systems because of its size.
He said there was also a role for other forms of alternative energy in the local economy, including wind, biomass, as well as “partnerships in the agriculture sector”.
“You have to have a diverse mix because that helps in managing risks as well,” Blackman said.
“There is a [wind] project at Lamberts that we are still working on. We did quite a lot of work. Wind is a challenging project, not just here but everywhere in the world because of the setbacks from home and the environmental impacts. Our environmental impact assessment took us about six years to complete,” he pointed out.
However, having completed it, he said BL&P was working with the landowner to get access.
“Those negotiations are going quite well and we think we should be able to see a project at that site in Lamberts by 2018,” added Blackman.
He said though approval had already been granted for the wind farm, “because of the complexities of wind and the environmental impact study and the amount of work needed to go in to mitigate that impact” it was taking a little longer than anticipated.
“We continue to work on that particular project and we are optimistic we will see those service within the next two or three years,” he said, adding, “We are looking at ten megawatts.”
Acknowledging that there were advances in technology over the past six years, Blackman said the company was also looking at its resources and examining what new technologies it could employ.