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RA consultation begins on feed-in tariffs

Consultation under way: Aaron Smith, interim chief executive of the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda

Consultation on the method to calculate the rate paid to Renewable Energy Metering Scheme participants is under way, the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda has announced.

The feed-in tariff is paid by Belco to compensate people who are connected to the electricity network and who generate electricity via renewable energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines.

Aaron Smith, the RA’s interim chief executive said: “The primary purpose of the feed-in tariff is to compensate distributed generators, for instance those who have solar panels, for the electricity they supply to Belco.

“We have to consider two main issues — firstly, the cost of generation that a business like Belco avoids by purchasing power from others who supply electricity and secondly, any economic benefits associated with distributed generation.”

He added: “Once the methodology is set, the Authority will conduct a tariff review using the approved methodology to determine a rate.”

Last month, the RA issued a general determination mandating that Belco should pay a transitional feed-in tariff at a rate of $0.1736 per kWh for electricity produced by Renewable Energy Metering Scheme participants and a transitional methodology for assessing the level of the feed-in tariff.

This effectively extends the rate imposed by the former “Solar Net Metering Scheme” Emergency General Determination that was issued in March 2017. The consultation now under way will look to replace this transitional tariff and methodology.

Mr Smith said: “We are aware that there is a great deal of interest in the feed-in tariff as many people installed renewable energy systems at their homes expecting to be able to get reasonable returns on their investments, so we want to complete this consultation as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The consultation document is available at www.rab.bm by going to the consultation tab and clicking electricity.