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BPL: 114 people have signed on to renewable generation program so far

As of Monday, 114 people have subscribed to Bahamas Power and Light’s small-scale renewable generation (SSRG) program, the company’s Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said yesterday, adding that the company plans to carry out a more robust public relations campaign in order to encourage the use of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems by homeowners.

Parker said those 114 homes are now generating 2.23 megawatts of power, are feeding power back to the grid and getting credit against their fuel surcharge.

He added that for those customers running solar systems that have not been registered with BPL, the company will soon begin to crack down on those unregistered users.

“There are maybe some illegal, unregistered solar PV systems out there,” said Parker.

“Those people need to come into the fold and get regularized and legalized very quickly, because we’re about to start a little program on that.

“The fact that more than 100 people have already subscribed to the SSRG program… I think there’s proof of concept there that people are getting money back against their fuel surcharge for their solar PV systems.”

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) said in March it will also focus on growing the number of SSRG systems installed at homes and businesses.

URCA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Bereaux also revealed then that the SSRG process has some bottlenecks and is more complicated than it has to be. He added that this year URCA wants to clearly outline and review the process, to ensure it makes sense and to cut out any unnecessary red tape.

According to Bereaux, people who want to install residential SSRG systems have to get approval from BPL first, while commercial entities have to receive URCA approval at the outset.

Another hindrance, he said, might be unattractive feed-in tariff rates for those selling electricity back to the grid. Bereaux explained, however, that BPL customers, in order to benefit from the tariff, must understand what size system is correct for their needs.

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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