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Smart grid study coming

Shawn Cumberbatch

Smart grid study coming

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Even as the Barbados Light & Power Company reports reduced electricity costs for Barbadians due to falling oil prices, Government is exploring the possibility of enhancing the infrastructure through which electricity is generated in Barbados.

As part of a series of studies worth $2.4 million and being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Government will be conducting a smart grid feasibility study.

The work will also include “the possibility of developing a second phase of the Energy Smart Fund with an emphasis on energy efficiency for the hotel sector, and an initiative to utilise wind, solar photovoltaic technologies, and other renewable energy sources in public companies to make their processes more efficient.”

New documentation on the project said funding from the IDB would “finance the development of a strategy for adopting a smart grid system that is suitable for local conditions in Barbados”.

“It will finance identification of the best smart grid practices in countries with conditions similar to Barbados, technical evaluation of suitable smart grid models and identification of best options, developing a proposal for smart grid and infrastructure in Barbados, including the smart grid programme and advanced metering infrastructure,” the document stated.

“The smart grid component would also include an assessment grid energy storage integrated with renewable energy as well as the inclusion of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and financial and economic analysis of the smart grid deployment.”

In addition to the smart grid study, there will also be other research “that will contribute to the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation”. There will also be research on “cutting-edge technologies such as energy storage, energy efficiency in thermal energy, and ocean power, among others”.

The IDB expected the various energy programmes Barbados was pursuing to reduce oil imports by 30 per cent and generate US$283.5 million in electricity cost savings.