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Barbados proposes the introduction of three pilot programmes that involve Renewable Energy

The Fair Trading Commission is currently reviewing the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited’s (BL&P) request for the introduction of three pilot programmes – Time-of-Use (TOU) tariff, Renewable Energy Rider (RER) and Interruptible Service Rider (ISR). These pilots are being undertaken by the BL&P on a research basis for three years in order to gather information so that the company may determine whether and how to fully implement the programmes. In the interest of transparency and accountability the Commission has issued a consultation paper on the pilot programmes so that members of the public can review and submit comments.

Let’s now have a brief look at the Pilot Programmes.

The TOU tariff, also known as Time-of-Day tariff involves dividing the day into tariff slots with higher rates at “on-peak” load periods and lower rates at “off-peak” load periods. Customers may therefore benefit from lower rates by adjusting their usage to off-peak periods. This type of tariff is designed to reflect the difference in the cost incurred by the utility in providing electricity service at different times of day, as it costs more to generate electricity during peak hours when most businesses and factories are operating compared to the early morning hours.

The BL&P is proposing to make the TOU pilot programme available to 30 Large Power (LP) customers, with an initial contract period of one year on a first-come, first-serve basis. The proposed on-peak period is 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of annual published public holidays. All other times (9:00 p.m. – 10:00 a.m.) are considered off-peak.

The BL&P proposed RER seeks to encourage customers who already employ solar photovoltaic, wind turbine and hybrid (solar and wind) to supply electricity to the national electric grid. Under this programme the BL&P is providing the opportunity for customers who produce renewable energy for their own use to sell any excess to the grid. This initiative is in keeping with electric utilities the world over who are seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and explore “green” and more environmentally friendly means of producing electricity.

The RER will be available to all customers, that is, the Domestic Service (DS), General Service (GS), Secondary Voltage Power (SVP), LP and also includes those utilising the prospective TOU tariffs. The renewable power source must be located on the customer’s own or rented premises under specific terms and conditions. The maximum number of systems connected to the grid will be limited to 200 customers on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is proposed that all kilowatts per hour (kWh) sold to the grid will be compensated either via a credit at 1.8 times the Fuel Clause Adjustment or 31.5 cents/kWh, whichever is greater.

An ISR is defined by the BL&P as a rate or tariff paid to the contracted customer to voluntarily reduce their demand on receipt of a request from the BL&P. This reduction may be achieved by, for example, customers turning off equipment or using their own generator to power the equipment. This rider however carries a penalty if the customer fails to accede to the BL&P’s request to reduce demand. The use of this type of rider allows the customer to be compensated by a capacity credit on a monthly basis for the avoidable demand (Non-firm Demand) while the company is afforded the opportunity to reduce the overall demand on the system, especially as it approaches peak load.

This pilot ISR will be available to SVP and LP customers who can demonstrate their ability to reduce their load to the Firm Demand Level (FDL), within 30 minutes of being notified to do so by the company.

Through public consultation the Commission is seeking to determine how the public views the pilot programmes that are being proposed by the BL&P. Additionally the responses will assist the Commission in deciding whether the terms and conditions of service in respect of the TOU tariff, the ISR and the RER are adequate for the purposes that the BL&P has outlined. The consultation will also facilitate the exchange of information which may result in improvements to the proposed pilot programmes.

The Commission invites comments from interested parties including consumers, the BL&P, businesses, professionals and academics. The Consultation Paper may be downloaded from the Commission’s website at www.ftc.gov.bb.

The Consultation period which began on October 21, 2009 will end on November 18, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. Additionally to facilitate wide discussion on the Pilot Programmes there will be an Oral Session on November 20, 2009 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre where the BL&P will give a presentation. Interested parties may also make a short presentation on these programmes. The session will be open to the public. However persons who are interested in making a 15-minute oral presentation must advise the Commission’s General Legal Counsel Mrs. Kim Griffith–Tang How on or before November 12, 2009 at 424-0260.

If you have any questions email us at

info@ftc.gov.bb

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or call us at 424-0260. We can also be contacted at our offices at ‘Good Hope’, Green Hill, St. Michael.



Category/ies:Barbados News.
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