Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, has disclosed that Government is in the final stages of negotiations with the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) for licences to operate the new market structure.
He made this announcement while delivering an address at the Sustainable Energy Cooperative Society Limited in the Cooperators General Insurance Building, Collymore Rock, St. Michael, recently.
Emphasising that the power company needed certainty “like everybody else”, the Minister said the failure to complete the negotiations has been a sticking point in Government’s agenda.
“I can tell you that we’re very, very close to a complete resolution on this. As opposed to it being a one licence regime, we are looking at five separate licences. BL&P would retain the ability to have monopoly on the transmission and distribution, but the generation, storage and sales, all those things are now [ going to be] liberalised,” Mr. Abrahams stated.
The Energy Minister said bringing the negotiations with the BL&P to a close would send a strong signal to the market that Barbados was serious.
“The licences that you are going to get would likely be for 20 years. If you go in 20 years with a pre-determined return … there is no surer investment in Barbados possible than in the renewable energy space.”
Mr. Abrahams also said that measurements had been carried out across the island to determine the best location for wind farm development.
In addition, the Ministry is developing the regulatory and licensing framework and exploring the commercial viability of offshore wind.
He added that his Ministry is currently evaluating relevant information to develop new legislation to “undergird” the changes taking place in the sector to promote competition and transparency.