OfReg releases more domestic wind and solar energy
(CNS): The utility regulator, OfReg, has authorized CUC to interconnect with an additional 3 megawatts of electricity produced by solar wind turbines and small wind turbines on household rooftops as part of its Consumer Owned programs Renewable Energy (CORE) and Distributed Energy Resource (DER). Applications were opened on Monday and the available power is expected to be absorbed quickly given the continued popularity of both programs.
OfReg said adding capacity to the grid before CUC deploys its battery project was essential to the continued promotion of both programs, providing “stability to both consumers and industry.”
CUC vice president of customer services and technology Sacha Tibbetts said the CUC supports the decision made by the regulator. “This additional capacity will give more customers access to the CORE and DER programs and we anticipate an increase in the number of customers who will sign up,” he said.
The CUC “anticipates that the extension of the program will be quickly adopted by our customers and will contribute to our goal of reducing Grand Cayman’s dependence on fossil fuels,” he said, adding that the power company “remains committed. to promote and develop renewable energies as a source of electricity production ”.
Programs like CORE and DER “play an important role with large-scale projects,” he said.
Even with the additional 3MW, however, Cayman falls short of the ambitious national energy policy target of generating 70% of electricity from renewables by 2037. Currently, only about 5% of the Electricity produced in the Caymans comes from green sources.
To date, only 674 of CUC’s 32,000 customers are connected to CORE, generating 7,667.31 kilowatts, providing a total CO2 reduction of approximately 6,958 tonnes per year.
The DER program was introduced in January 2018 and allows customers to consume electricity produced by their own renewable energy system. Under the DER program, customers can also sell to CUC any excess electricity produced and exported to the grid at an avoided production cost credit rate.
“By incorporating lessons learned by other jurisdictions from early net metering programs, DER customers are billed with a demand rate structure. The use of on-demand tariffs aligns the fixed costs of providing grid interconnection and standby provision to the customer with demand charges, thus avoiding any potential cross-subsidy between DER and non-generating customers ” , said CUC.
During this last application for customers, the pricing mechanisms of the DER program will remain unchanged. The recently established CORE Feed in Tariff tariffs published during the last capacity reallocation determined a rate of $ 0.175 / kWh for solar PV systems of 5 kW and less and 15 cents for systems between 5 kW and 10 kW which will apply to this version.
Core has enabled customers to connect solar systems or small-scale wind turbines to the CUC distribution system and reduce their monthly energy bills by generating their own electricity while remaining connected to the CUC grid.
But this is subsidized by non-CORE customers, because the tariff paid to CORE customers for their power generation is higher than the cost CUC would normally incur and charge customers for the same power from other sources, people said. responsible.
The CUC said it is working through the implementation phase of the Integrated Resource Plan, supporting Grand Cayman’s power generation plans for the next 30 years.