October 25, 2020

CUC statement on CORE programme

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Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 9.03.02 PMThe available capacity for the Consumer-Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) Generation Programme is near to being fully subscribed. As a result, Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC) and the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) are currently reviewing the programme to determine if there should be a further extension to the available capacity.

The CORE programme which was proposed by CUC and started in 2011 has proven popular with residential and commercial customers who are able to connect their solar panels or wind turbines to the CUC grid.

When the programme was revised in March 2015, a maximum aggregate of 4 MW capacity of renewable energy generation was allowed to be connected to the CUC Transmission & Distribution (T&D) system with a maximum of 2 MW allowed for residential customers and a maximum of 2 MW allowed for commercial customers. This capacity is now near to being filled. A decision on the terms for further extension of the Programme is expected to be made by February 1st, 2016. If in the interim the approved capacity is filled, CUC will continue to accept applications but those customers will be put on a waiting list until any additional capacity becomes available.

In March 2015, the rates paid to customers for all renewable energy generated were also revised to CI 32 cents per kilowatt hour (“kWh”) for residential customers and CI 28 cents per kWh for commercial customers, at the time the best estimate of the customers’ production cost. These small producer costs have been coming down but likely remain at a premium to the cost of large scale renewables which is today at CI 14 cents per kWh and diesel fuel which is also at CI 14 cents.

CUC continues to explore large-scale alternative energy options and the Company is looking forward to the completion of the 5 MW solar farm which is being developed in Bodden Town.

The company remains committed to promoting and developing renewable energy as a source of electricity generation. CUC has demonstrated this with its various requests for proposals for wind and solar energy. We understand that there are other benefits to the utilization of renewable energy such as achieving sustainable and competitive energy costs for customers; the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and long term energy security by utilizing more renewable energy and less diesel. However, the Company will ensure that the implementation of these technologies on a large scale does not significantly increase electricity rates, cause grid instability or reduced reliability.

 

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