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BL&P not opposed to renewable energy

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

BL&P not opposed to renewable energy

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BARBADOS’ LONE ELECTRIC utility company says it is not opposed to the introduction of renewable energy systems to Barbados.
However, managing director of the Barbados Light & Power Company Mark King said the concern was with the stability of the grid given the intermittency of renewable systems.
Players in the renewable energy sector have charged that BL&P was being conservative in the limits it wanted to impose on customers who sell energy back to the grid.
But recently, King said BL&P was one of the few utilities in the world to facilitate the introduction of renewable energy without being ordered to do so by the regulator.
“One recognizes, at the same time, that having introduced alternative sources of energy to the infrastructure, one needs to make sure that that infrastructure remains stable. By definition the predominant renewable energy systems that are on the market today that are connected to the grid are intermittent in nature, that is they go up and down as the wind blows and as the sun shines,” he said.
King said superimposing intermittency on a stable grid created the possibility of instability depending on the extent to which the renewable energy supply varied.
He noted that the results of an “intermittent renewable energy penetration study” commissioned by BL&P would be out “about the middle of this year or so.”
“That helps to determine what mitigating measures need to be put in place to prevent undue effects on the network.
 “The limits that the Fair Trading Commission have put on the system at this time do not need any mitigating measures. The system can handle that as it is. As it gets beyond those levels then there is a need for certain mitigating measures to be put in place and we will be able to better understand what those measures are once we’ve got the results of the study,” he said. (NB)