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USAID Caribbean Clean Energy Programme To Help Reform Jamaica’s Electricity Codes

In a move to enhance the operations of the electricity sector, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Caribbean Clean Energy Programme (CARCEP) is working with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to reform legal framework.

OUR joined forces with USAID CARCEP for technical assistance to develop and promulgate, by August 2016, five advanced electricity codes that will govern the sector’s operation as mandated by the government in the Electricity Act, 2015.

The five draft codes — generation, transmission, distribution, supply and dispatch — were presented on this week at a public workshop held on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.

The six-hour long workshop, which was the second and final part in a twofold series on the Preparation and Promulgation of Electricity Sector Codes organized by OUR, was aimed at encouraging public engagement and input from industry experts on the new codes which are designed to provide a roadmap for electricity sector licensees to conduct their operations.

Well-received presentations were made by USAID CARCEP’s technical team — Energy and Regulatory Governance Specialist, Elizabeth Butler Esq. delivered opening presentation on the Draft Introduction to the Code Book and a subsequent presentation on the Draft Supply Code, explaining how the Grid Codes were designed and how the Supply Code will assure customer service protection consistent with the Jamaica law.

“OUR’s careful work to build a clear and comprehensive Grid Code is an essential step in the ongoing work to drive down electricity costs, and to accelerate renewable energy and energy efficiency in Jamaica” Butler affirmed.

International Consultant and President of the U.S. Company — Electric Power Engineers Inc., Hala Ballouz P.E. also presented on the codes.

Ballouz is on a USAID CARCEP-sponsored visit to Jamaica to also lend expert support to OUR.

In her presentation on the Draft Transmission Code she explained the technical guidelines that will control the development, operation and maintenance of the transmission lines in the electric grid, emphasizing the integration of renewable energy generation projects.

Valentine Fagan and Aston Stephens, Senior Engineering Consultants of OUR, presented on the generation, and distribution codes respectively.

A final detailed presentation on the Draft Dispatch Code was made by USAID CARCEP’s Deputy Chief of Party and Clean Energy Specialist, Dwight DaCosta, explaining the technical and financial guidelines that will control which electricity generators will be called upon to produce electricity for the national electricity grid to meet ever-changing customer demand.

“The Dispatch Code will provide the guidelines to support the fairness, transparency and accountability that stakeholders demand, optimizing the use of generation assets to meet the requirements of an evolving dynamic Grid” explained DaCosta.

The workshop, which was facilitated by OUR’s Director of Regulation, Policy, Monitoring and Enforcement, Ansord Hewitt, saw contribution from over 73 participants representing 25 entities including the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET), Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Future Energy Corporation, National Water Commission (NWC), Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona; Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), Jamaica Broilers Group Limited, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and Wigton Windfarm Limited.

The previous OUR workshop held in June 2016, provided preliminary information on the Grid Codes development process and invited public comments. The OUR is once again inviting the public to submit comments on the Draft Grid Codes by August 5, 2016. OUR will then review the submissions and make final revisions and submit to the Ministry for approval. OUR is required by the Electricity Act, 2015 to adopt the Grid Codes by August 27, 2016.

“The 5 Grid Codes will provide a comprehensive framework for the development, maintenance and operation of an efficient, safe and reliable Jamaican electric power System. It will prohibit any undue discrimination among users and categories of users of the power grid” — Office of Utilities Regulation noted.

Category/ies:Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Jamaica News, News, Renewable Energy, Wind energy.
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