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Alternative Energy Generation Is On The Table

President and CEO of FortisTCI, Eddinton Powell and Minister of Government Support Services, George Lightbourne cut the ribbon on the utility company’s newest facility.
FORTISTCI and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government recently met at the table to continue discussions on the utilisation of alternative energy and the lowering of consumer costs through various means. 
Following the commissioning of a facility touted as having the capacity to save consumer costs and enhance worker efficiency at the Fortis Providenciales compound last Friday, Government Ministers met with the utility’s president, Eddinton Powell and other executives.  
“I have encouraged Fortis to seriously explore the possibility of complimenting their generation capacity by introducing alternative options such as wind and solar by 20 per cent in an effort to lower the cost of generating energy which ought to result in lower light bills,” Minister of Government Support Services, George Lightbourne told the Weekly News after the meeting. 
He said the company has indicated that is unlikely that they will be able to achieve a 20 per cent reduction, but they are inclined to consider 10 to 15 per cent.
“I am very serious about reducing the cost of electricity whether by encouraging home owners to utilise more energy efficient appliances or by continuing to work with Fortis encouraging them to find ways to make energy more affordable.
“Times are hard and my people are financially hurting and in need of relief and therefore I will not relent.”
During the commissioning ceremony on Friday, the Minister made a public appeal to Powell to meet him at the table. 
“Mr Powell, I know that you are a good man…and therefore I am calling on you to make whatever you can to make electricity more affordable.
“I am calling on you to do whatever it takes to explore whatever options you must to make it more affordable for our people.”
He stated that the Government is very serious about facilitating any discourse.
“Mr Powell, we are not your enemy, we see you as a partner, we appreciate the service you offer, we look forward to continually engaging you on the way forward, but we want to engage you in a spirit of true genuine dialogue that would be beneficial to you and also the people.”
At the same forum, the CEO registered his commitment to working with the Government.
“We are going to continue those discussions and we look forward to continuing those discussions, we are not afraid of those discussions and we too see that Government as a strategic partner for us. 
“The country and the Government can rest assured we are doing everything we can every day to ensure that we provide less cost, affordable and reliable electricity,” Powell replied.  
When questioned by the media following the ceremony about what more can be done to reduce cost to consumers, Lightbourne spoke of the reserve metering option. 
“I think one of the things Fortis can do is allow reserve metering – this means I can bring on my own facility, I can manufacture energy and if I have more than I require I can sell it back to Fortis and I can be compensated for doing so.
“As opposed to the other way around where they are the sole provider and we have to settle for whatever comes our way.”
However, reserve metering is a legislative decision that Government has to make and which would require the agreement of Fortis.
“Because it would conflict with their agreement that does not include reverse metering but they have not objected to it.
“Negotiations are on-going and I hope they see the benefit it brings to both sides because it ultimately results in Fortis saving on the energy generation side,” Lightbourne noted.
Questioned as to the company’s receptiveness to any or all of the proposed options, he said the company has not shown much reluctance, and that they have indicated they are receptive.
 “Hopefully it would come to fruition.” 
As to when the country can expect any means of alternative forms of energy, the Minister told this publication that the utility company is already in the process of exploring their options but that no specific date has been set for implementation. (DI)

Category/ies:News, Turks & Caicos News.
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