Study results next week

Power company to release findings by mid-February

The Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) says the results of a highly anticipated study on whether it can accept more electricity from customers using renewable energy should be at the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) by next week.

Barbados TODAY understands that it will then be up to the FTC to decide how the information contained in the study would be disseminated. Based on the findings and following consultations, the FTC will also determine if and how the Renewable Energy Rider (RER) capacity could be adjusted.

The RER was designed specifically to facilitate the sale of excess electricity to the grid by customers using a solar photovoltaic or wind renewable energy system to offset electricity consumption from the grid.

Last August, the FTC increased the capacity from seven megawatts to nine megawatts.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, sales and marketing representative of Solar Watt Systems Inc Anthony Duke expressed concern about the apparent reluctance of the utility company to release its findings.

However, the BL&P said today that the preliminary results of the study were shared with the department of energy as well as the FTC in November 2014 as planned.

“We are committed to presenting the final results of the study to the FTC by mid-February. The study and its findings took longer than anticipated because it was the first of its kind done by Light & Power [and] some areas of the work being done were highly specialized and more complex than foreseen or anticipated,” the company said in an emailed response to questions from Barbados TODAY.

It also noted that acquiring and collating the data took more time than estimated, adding that “for a successful and meaningful study”, more data was required than was readily available to the company.

The BL&P said it intended to address the matter in more detail “very soon”.

In relation to the lack of approval of installation of commercial renewable generation systems since August last year, Barbados TODAY understands that the BL&P was forced to halt those approvals because it was nearing the capacity limit of nine megawatts set by the FTC then.

However, it is understood that coming out of the preliminary results of the study the capacity could be “significantly increased”.

However, that decision rests with the FTC.

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