Regulator greenlights more green energy

| 14/02/2019 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Caribbean Utilities Company

(CNS): The Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) has signed off on CUC opening the final 1 megawatt of capacity allocated to the power provider’s Consumer Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) programme. After the initial limit of 6MW was reached in March 2017, OfReg approved another 2MW to be released in two tranches. With the first already generated, the second megawatt has been released following an additional review of the rate. The extension of the programme will continue to be limited to smaller systems of capacity with a revised tariff rate of 28 cents for system sizes up to 5 kilowatts and 24 cents over 5 kilowatts.

In a press release announcing the expansion, President and Chief Executive Officer of CUC, Richard Hew said the programme had proven popular with both residential and commercial customers.

“We anticipate that the extension to the programme will be rapidly taken up by our customers and will assist in our goal of reducing the Cayman Islands’ dependence on fossil fuels. Our company remains committed to promoting and developing renewable energy as a source of electricity generation and we believe that programmes such as CORE demonstrate that commitment,” he said.

The programme takes into consideration the long-term goals of the National Energy Policy, CUC’s own Integrated Resource Plan study and the Demand Rates initiative. CUC said it continues to provide incentives for consumers to generate energy from renewable sources and be compensated through stable, long-term rates.

“It allows customers to connect renewable energy systems, such as small scale solar systems or wind turbines, to CUC’s distribution system and to reduce their monthly energy bills by generating their own electricity while remaining connected to the CUC grid,” officials explained.

The total capacity for the programme remains at 9MW which includes 1MW for government buildings. OfReg had previously approved the capacity for the public sector, which includes the central government departments, statutory authorities and government-owned companies. These entities will be offered the existing rate of 21 cents for capacities of 20+ to 100kW, subject to the usual peak demand limit.

Meanwhile, large commercial customers have access to Demand Rates, which became available in 2017. These are standard rate structures for this type of customer and is similar to what is available in most other markets, CUC said.

Demand rate structures allow the customer’s billing to be itemised into fixed and variable-based costs. Fixed costs are largely driven by peak demand, and demand rates give consumers the ability to reduce their overall electricity bill by managing their peak demand.

The demand component is a proportionately larger part of the bill if the customer’s power demands are high and over a short period of time, and a smaller part of the bill if the customer uses power at a more or less constant rate throughout the month, the power company explained.

Demand rates are also available to any customers who wish to connect renewable energy systems outside of the CORE programme that is on the Distributed Energy Resources programme. There are currently 3MW allocated to this programme.

The CORE Credit & Interconnection Agreement between the consumer and CUC sets out the terms under which services, connectivity, metering and billing credits are governed and is available on the CUC website.

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Category: Local News

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If any of you hippies believe that going green is going to save you money. Think again. All it does is save CUC money, and makes them more profit. It’s really that simple.
    They have geared grid tie in, solar. So that you really spend 80% of the money upfront to save 20% 15 years later. Would you spend 10K to save 2k in a 20 year period. No…then no point going solar. It’s really that simple. Save a lousy 20 to 40 a month, then after the 20 year period. You have to replace your panels again. Because the 20 year mark they start to degrade. by 25th year your only getting 70 to 80 percent operational ability from your solar panels. And that’s FACT

  2. E. Conomist says:

    CUC should be nationalised; if being a Government(i.e. the people)-owned company is good enough for the Water Authority why not electricity too? This would remove the obligation to follow the whims of Canadian shareholders and bring down the cost to the consumer as there would be no requirement to pay dividends.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, no update on the negotiations to renew the Cayman Brac Power & Light Licence that expired in mid-December 2018.

    Does anyone know what is the deal for solar power usage in the Sister Islands?

  4. Question and answer says:

    Correct me if I am wrong – to be granted a certificate of occupancy (when building a home) isn’t it still a requirement to have the home wired for electricity which is provided by of course of CUC?

    If this is not the case then I am more than happy to stand corrected. If it is indeed a requirement then it needs to change. If I want to use solar power or propane I should not have to wire my home and pay CUC a minimum each month.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is legal to supply your own electricity and you are not compelled to connect to CUC.

      • Question and answer says:

        Well I did not say anything about it being illegal – I just wanted to know if planning still required your house being wired for electricity from CUC before issuing you a certificate of occupancy thereby having to pay CUC a monthly minimum surcharge (or whatever it’s called) regardless of the fact you are not using the company’s electricity.

        Why did I even bother………

  5. Anonymous says:

    What are the current peak and off-peak energy demand time periods and price differentials? What is the net-metered price that CUC will pay to buy renewable energy from these homes? Who decides these things?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Think of “Green energy”, like “Organic” food. Basically it’s the same energy, except it’s much less efficient, and they get to charge you three times the price for it so you can feel a bit less guilty about your existence.

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