Come Friday, September 27, the public will know the new feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates for the sale of electricity from renewable energy systems, up to one megawatt (MW) in size.
Earlier this year, officials from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources indicated that the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) would set rates for electricity supplied from renewable energy sources for systems up to one MW, using feed-in-tariffs.
Feed-in-tariffs (FIT) are fixed electricity prices that are paid to renewable energy (RE) producers for each unit of energy produced and injected into the electricity grid.
In an attempt to develop a permanent price for renewable energy systems selling to the public grid, the FTC embarked on a consultancy originally expected to conclude on July 6 this year. However, due to unforeseen challenges, the consultancy is now expected to be completed by September 27, at which time new FIT rates for the sale of electricity from RE systems, up to one MW in size, will be determined.
The Government of Barbados has adopted a national energy policy to transform Barbados from a petroleum-based economy to a 100 per cent renewable energy and carbon-neutral island state by 2030, while simultaneously achieving a number of transformational goals. These include providing reliable, safe, affordable, sustainable, modern and climate-friendly energy services to all residents and visitors; zero domestic consumption of fossil fuels economy-wide; exporting all hydrocarbons produced both on land and offshore; maximising local participation (individual and corporate) in distributed renewable energy generation and storage; minimising the outflow of foreign exchange; and creating a regional centre of excellence in renewable energy research and development.
As a result, all commissioned systems of 500kW or less and licences issued for systems at this capacity as at September 27, will be ring-fenced at the current rates for electricity supplied from renewable energy sources, that is, 41.6 cents ($0.416) for solar photovoltaic systems and 31.5 cents ($0.315) for wind systems.
In addition, a capacity limit of an additional 20MW for new systems installed or licences awarded for systems of 500kW or less may be approved by the Minister of Energy and Water Resources for the interim period up to September 27.