News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – Earlier this month the Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban met with the island’s solar installers to hear their thoughts on how to build a shared vision for Bermuda’s energy future.
Attendees included representatives from the Department of Planning, Department of Energy, BE Solar, Greenlight Solar, AES, BEST and BAE.
The Minister opened the meeting by highlighting the opportunities which exist for Bermuda’s solar industry in terms of providing solar installations at both small commercial sites and larger ‘farm’ sites, as per the goals of Bermuda’s first energy plan, the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Among the topics discussed were regulatory matters, like the Feed-in Tariff *(FIT) for solar photovoltaic installations, and how it might better incentivize solar development in the future. The public may recall that in October of last year the FIT was revised in order to more fully account for costs that the utility avoids by purchasing solar energy from smaller power producers.
The Minister noted that legislative changes were in progress which would make the application process easier for renewable energy installations.
Other topics discussed during the meeting included the feasibility of removing the duty of certain renewable goods, energy conservation, the voluntary carbon offset market, metering, grid defection and solar rebates.
As the Minister closed the meeting he noted that it was by no means a one-off occurrence:
“We are here to listen and all comments are welcome as we craft revisions to our legislation,” said Minister Roban. “More meetings will transpire later in the year as the legislative and policy changes are developed.
“These meetings are further opportunities for us to reach out to those in the private sector in order to build a shared vision for the future.
“We are committed to lowering the cost of energy for residents. In order to do this, it is crucial that Government work together with those in Bermuda’s renewable energy sector.”
* The FIT is the pre-determined rate at which renewable energy is purchased by the public utility from residential or commercial solar DGs, for the excess electricity they generate and feed into the grid.