Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Residents of the Virgin Islands will soon be able to use and sell renewable energy following the passing of the British Virgin Islands Electricity Ordinance Amendment Act 2015.
The Amended Act was passed at the Fourth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the House of Assembly, held on March 12.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool, in a statement to the House said that clause 30 of the act states that “a consumer is entitled to install and operate a renewable energy generation facility on their premises and to sell excess power from the renewable energy generation facility to the Corporation…”
This, he said, means that interested consumers will enter into an Interconnection/Power Purchase Agreement with the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation to generate and make use of renewable energy.
The amendment will allow persons to build, own and operate renewable energy generating facilities approved by the corporation. Persons generating energy in this capacity will be classified as “independent power producers”.
Honourable Vanterpool told the House that provisions are being made for consumers to generate clean energy, and reiterated the need for persons to conserve energy.
“Citizens are encouraged to replace the regular lights with LED lights. We have also been encouraging people to switch the lights off while they are not being used to help reduce the consumption of electricity. It will help reduce your energy bill and it will reduce the need to burn fossil fuels at the corporation level” said Honourable Vanterpool.
The Amendment lifts an act that dates back to 1979 which states, “no person other than the Corporation shall use, work or operate, or permit to be used, worked or operated any installation for the generation of electricity or the supply of electricity to or for the use of any other person, except under and in accordance with the terms of an authority issued by the Minister under and in accordance with this Ordinance and subject to such conditions as he may deem appropriate.”
The 1979 act does permit for some means of using renewable energy around the home. As such, the usage of solar water heaters is encouraged.
The British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation is moving towards efficient ways of generating energy to benefit the people of the Virgin Islands. Currently, the Corporation is adding cables to its transmission system and replacing old generators with new fuel efficient units.