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Roban looks at changes to power grid to attract new electricity firms

Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, eyes changes to the electricity grid (File photograph)

Changes to Bermuda’s electricity grid will be needed to attract a range of new power technologies, the home affairs minister said.

But scenarios being reviewed would not allow a new generation company to hook-up to the island’s present electricity grid, run by power firm Belco.

However, Mr Roban said the restriction would not be a disincentive to new players in the power market.

He added: “I would argue that, perhaps, there are some changes that would need to be made to the grid over time in any event to attract a variety of technologies.

“But that consultation is being run by the RA.”

Mr Roban added: “We work closely with the RA. Their mandate is to promote investment in the energy sector, in the different sectors they regulate, so we doubt that they are doing anything that is a disincentive.”

He was speaking as the Regulatory Authority is examining proposals for a significant amount of electricity to be generated independent of Belco.

The grid supply idea is contained in the Large Scale Self Supply Licence Preliminary Report from the RA, which is out for public consultation at present.

The deadline for responses is midnight on December 6.

The report is aimed at equipping the RA to rule on licensing for significant power generation outside the monopoly provider.

Belco at present holds the island’s only licence to transmit, distribute and sell electricity.

The RA report came in the wake of a consultation document issued in March ― which received a single response from Belco.

The authority said Belco raised the potential problem of “inadvertent connection to the grid”, which could affect power supply.

The RA said there could be situations where access to a licence holder’s property might be necessary.

It added: “if required, the RA would designate Belco staff on a case-by-case basis”.

The report did not stipulate specific types of power generation to be covered under self-supply, although it contained one reference to renewable energy.

It ruled out the sale of electricity, or the transportation of power ― known as “wheeling” ― as well as its transmission or distribution outside the premises of the licence holder.

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Published November 24, 2021 at 7:43 am (Updated November 23, 2021 at 10:37 pm)

Roban looks at changes to power grid to attract new electricity firms

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