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Step closer to green energy goal

Article taken from the Weekend Nation: Friday May 20, 2022

Barbados has moved one step closer towards its goal of being 100 per cent green energy dependent by 2030.

This is thanks to a three-way agreement between the Barbados Light and Power, Barbados National Oil Company Limited and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), which signed an agreement yesterday for the development of a tenmegawatt solar farm at Mangrove, St Philip.

The 30-acre solar farm, which would be the same size as the one currently in operation at St Lucy, is to be built over the next eight months at a cost of $25 million.

Yesterday’s signing of the MOU between, from left, Chief Operating Officer, EMERA Caribbean, Dave McGreggor, General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union Toni Moore, and chairman of BNOCL Vic Fernandes. Looking on is
Minister of Energy Kerrie Symmonds. (Picture by Jameel Springer.)

Speaking to the media following the signing of the memorandum of understanding at the BWU’s Solidarity House headquarters, Minister of Energy Kerrie Symmonds disclosed that Government was in the process of rolling out plans to increase line capacity on the electrical grid to allow for even larger projects.

He said that while the vast majority of feeder lines were not at capacity, there were some which had raised concern, as some had reached as high as 4 000 kilowatts, which was close to the point of filling up.

“We recognise that the vast majority of our feeder lines are in good shape in terms of what they can carry. There are probably about four in Barbados that are coming to a point that you would have to watch it in terms of congestion. We have accepted that the solution to this is by way of more transformers being sourced and applied as well as battery storage and a battery policy must now be unfolded,” said Symmonds, who said Cabinet had approved a battery policy.

Without disclosing too many details, he explained that the policy would include special tariffs for batteries, allowing for the storage of excess power coming through the grid.

“Cabinet has approved a battery storage policy, the Fair Trade Commission is in the process of doing the work it must do on setting it up in terms of the tariff for batteries. Once we get that done, we would be solving a major problem because what you are treating as excess supply would be storage supply and that could be drawn on by the utility at a point when they are ready,” he said.

Barbados is seeking to produce 800 megawatts of electricity on an annual basis, which would be farmed from a combination of solar, wind, biogas and hydrogen. Symmonds said the next phase of the clean energy push is to attract investment at the scale of 50-megawatts output. (CLM)

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