(CMR) The Barbados Government has entered a deal with Barbados Light and Power Company to allow other electricity players to enter the market, ending a 110-year monopoly.
The government and the power company have been in negotiations for several months as the government moves to open up the market to new players and drive the build-out of the renewable energy industry, Barbados Today reported.
The new deal means Light & Power will be issued with new licenses but will remain the exclusive holder of licenses for the “transmission and dispatch” of electricity. However, other entities will be issued licenses to generate and store current.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Francine Blackman said the new deal meant that changes would be made to legislation governing the industry. She said there are several projects to support the transition.
Blackman explained, “Initially, it was to demonstrate to the private sector that renewable energy is a viable option, and we now have buy-in from the private sector. Therefore, we now have to change the relevant legislation and regulation to support the demand now that is on the ground, to support the transition because the grid was not so designed to have the interjection of renewables from all over the island.
“We also recently, through a process of rejigging the market structure, recently concluded our negotiation with the lone utility here to let them realize that based on the energy policy, government is also interested in making sure that there is competition being introduced in the market for generation and storage services. So they are no longer responsible for the entire supply chain. These are some of the things we are doing.”