CUC reports green energy use increase of 47%

| 18/02/2019 | 4 Comments
Cayman News Service

Solar Farm in Bodden Town (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): Renewable energy on the CUC grid grew by 47% last year, according to the annual report of Grand Cayman’s monopoly power provider. At the end of the year, 343 of its near 30,000 customers connected almost 5,000 kilowatts of renewable capacity with the Customer Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) programme. Along with 5MW from the solar farm in Bodden Town, this leap in CORE customers saw 2.5% of the company’s energy capacity generated through green sources in 2018. CUC said it aims to have a quarter of the power it supplies generated through renewable energy by 2025.

Following another profitable year for the company, in which earnings grew by $3 million due to a base rate increase of 1.8% that was cleared by the utilities regulator, CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said that despite the overall growth, individual customers are trying to cut down on their energy use.

“Sales growth was tempered by ongoing customer focus on energy efficiency and cooler weather as compared to 2017,” he said. “The company also experienced one of its most active years of construction as it continued to execute its Capital Investment Plan to put in place the modern  infrastructure required to serve Grand Cayman as a leading destination today and into the future.

“With the growing importance on environmental sustainability, we progressed in this area with a significant increase in the amount of renewable energy feeding our grid and the acceptance of our Integrated Resource Plan by the Office of Utility Regulations and Competition as a roadmap for the transition to clean energy.”

According to the report, CUC generated 2.5% of all the energy it supplied through renewable resources. While this represents a leap in green energy generation of 47% on 2017, it is a long way off the target of 25% from renewables within the next five years, or the long-term target of the government’s National Energy Policy of 70% by 2037 .

CUC’s Integrated Resource Plan, which will see CUC transition to renewable energy and natural gas replacing diesel by 2037, was also accepted by the regulator.

The power company, which is still generating more than 97% of its energy from diesel, said it “fully embraces this transition to cleaner energy from proven technologies such as solar and wind” as the cost of alternative energy falls and its production and storage become more stable.

CUC said it plans to invest around $77 million in proposed grid enhancement projects, including battery storage, which is being reviewed by the regulator.

See the full report on CUC’s website here.

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Category: Business, Science & Nature, utilities

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And the bill keeps getting higher and higher each year.

  2. Iindie says:

    So if I get this right we have about 2.5 percent of power from renewables while the actual objective is 25 percent and they congratulate themselves while getting only 10 percent of the job done ???

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great…every time they invest, it seems we the customers pay the tab but get no investment payouts!

    12
    • Anonymous says:

      Agree. The only solution from a consumer standpoint is the one CUC dreads — that we all go into personal debt to take our homes completely off-grid, and believe me THAT is a very big personal investment.

      Some things are no-brainers — solar collectors instead of hot water heaters, for example. Get rid of the electric stove and go with propane. Can use propane for refrigeration also. Propane is still a good buy, although it has gone up quite a bit also.

      No real solution for renters, sadly, unless the owner is willing to share equipment costs.

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