The government of Barbados is planning to open its national grid to independent power producers, with licenses being awarded at the start of 2018.
This was disclosed by Boyce, the Minister for Energy, who also added that recommendations on licensing systems for these producers should be in hand by the end of the year.
The announcement was given at a signing ceremony at Government Headquarters between the Division of Energy and Enermax Limited to enable the installation of solar PV systems at 28 community centres and nine polyclinics.
The primary objectives of this move are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using renewables, alongside strengthening Barbados’ disaster risk response by promoting decentralised PV electricity generation with battery back-up.
Boyce also announced that proposals for pricing on renewable energy would have to pass in front of the Fair Trading Commission early next year in a bid to “give certainty to investors of what they will earn”. He added that recommendations on pricing will be made after stakeholder consultation.
This project, which will be implemented over the next three months, forms part of the Disaster Risk and Energy Access Management (DREAM) Project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) with project support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The long-term aim of the project, he explained, would result in a reduction in electricity costs, provide critical battery support in case of an emergency and ensure that high electricity bills would not hinder communities and schools were not impacted in carrying out their programs.
A similar scheme was implemented by the government earlier this year, with the government poised to save US$16 million a year on electricity, through PV electrification projects on most of its government buildings through Solar PV modules.