URCA: BPL given more time to complete utility-scale portion of REP

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has been given more time to complete the utility-scale portion of its renewable energy plan (REP), citing its lack of “internal capacity and resources” to do so in the first and second time frames allotted by the Utilities Regulation and

Competition Authority (URCA), the regulator notes in its 2019 draft annual plan.

URCA was not satisfied with BPL’s submission earlier this year and sent it back to be revised. Now, BPL has asked for URCA to give it until August 31 to return with the utility-scale plan.

“BPL’s obligation to furnish a renewable energy plan to URCA stems from section 25 of the EA (Electricity Act),” URCA notes in its draft annual plan.

“Provided that BPL meets the revised timeline, URCA has rescheduled the completion of this project by T3 (tier three) of 2019.”

URCA explained earlier this year that this breach of obligation by BPL compromises the achievement of policy objectives that require the introduction of renewable energy to The Bahamas in the “shortest time frame possible”.

According to URCA, BPL was advised to develop an action plan for utility-scale renewable energy systems, including easy-to-implement and measurable actions that could be implemented within three years; and identify specific utility-scale projects that BPL will develop.

URCA revealed in its plan that it will carry out an efficiency assessment of BPL due to ongoing concerns about the electricity provider, and with regard to its general regulatory mandate.

“URCA deems it necessary to perform a comprehensive management and operational audit of BPL to determine the entity’s overall efficiency in relation to its mandate to provide a safe, reliable and affordable supply of electricity,” the draft plan states.

“The proposed audit would examine, inter alia, the management of human, financial and technical resources with a view to providing objective assessments to remedy any deficiencies discovered. It is envisioned that the efficiency assessment will provide a comprehensive and global view of the operation, thereby enabling it to align itself with the industry’s best practices.”

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Chester Robards

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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