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Joaquin Gives Energy ‘Rethink’ Opportunity

Miami- A Government minister yesterday said the Bahamas had an opportunity to “rethink” its energy policy in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, suggesting that this would involve renewable sources.

Arnold Forbes, minister of state for works and urban development, speaking on a panel at KPMG’s 2015 Island Infrastructure Summit, said the $0.42 per kilowatt hour cost of electricity on New Providence – and higher on the Family Islands – was “just not acceptable”.

He added that the Government was looking to significantly reduce that.

“The Bahamas is a unique country. Many people believe infrastructural development just includes Nassau,” Mr Forbes said. “The Bahamas is made up of 35 developed islands. The Bahamas is a resilient country because we are in an area where we suffer hurricanes, but with these storms comes opportunity for redevelopment.”

He added: “Three of our islands have been hit particularly hard. Those islands were greatly devastated. It gives an opportunity for energy redevelopment in those islands.

“The Government is presently providing those islands with energy at great cost. This provides an opportunity for us to rethink our energy policies in those islands, whereby instead of the Government providing power to those islands we can move towards renewable energy sources procured in various forms to provide power to those islands.”

Mr Forbes said the Government has enacted legislation that will allow residential self-generation (RESG) and renewable energy power purchase/interconnection agreements between commercial customers and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).

He added that the Government is moving away from operating BEC, having selected Carolinas-based PowerSecure as the new manager.

“We are presently moving away from the Government of the Bahamas operating the power company. While ownership will still reside with the Government we are moving to an independent company coming in and managing our power needs. We have teamed up with a world class company in PowerSecure,” said Mr Forbes.


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