BELCO Ordered To Pay Distributed Generators

August 19, 2018 | 11 Comments

[Updated] BELCO has been ordered by the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda [the Authority] to pay all distributed generators for the electricity they feed-in to the BELCO grid according to RA officials.

A spokesperson said, “Until now, some consumers who feed-in their excess power from distributed generation to BELCO’s grid have not yet been paid. Payment requires a Standard Contract between BELCO and the distributed generator. BELCO said its interpretation of the law [Electricity Act 2016] was that it was not allowed to enter into a Standard Contract with customers until after Bermuda’s electricity plan, the Integrated Resource Plan or ‘IRP’, was in place.

“The Authority, through the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, requested an amendment to the Electricity Act 2016, which become effective on July 30th this year. This clarifies that there is no restriction from entering into a Standard Contract in the interim period before the IRP. This means that all distributed generation producers can be legally connected to the grid and receive payment for their electricity provided to BELCO.

“Households with solar power generators who have been feeding electricity to BELCO without compensation, will also receive backdated payment for any energy they have provided to the grid in the past.

“More than 99% of distributed generation systems are solar generators, although the Standard Contract applies to all renewable energy program systems including wind and water. Some distributed generation providers do already receive payment for their energy feed-in, as they were party to BELCO’s Small Scale Renewable Generator Interconnection Agreement [Legacy Agreement], to which BELCO has since stopped accepting new entrants.

“The Authority’s Order to BELCO, which has already taken effect, establishes several outcomes.

  • BELCO shall enter into a Standard Contract with all potential distributed generators who meet the requirements.
  • Within 30 days of entering into a Standard Contract, BELCO shall compensate all current and potential distributed generators for any electricity [i] which had been supplied to BELCO prior to the effective date of such Standard Contract; and [ii] for which such distributed generators have not been compensated.
  • BELCO shall transition all current distributed generators from the Legacy Agreement to the Standard Contract within 45 days.

“More information can be found on the Regulatory Authority’s new-look website at www.rab.bm including the Electricity Act 2016, Electricity Amendment Act 2018 and details about the process of developing Bermuda’s Electricity Plan, IRP.”

Update Aug 20, 4.12pm: BELCO said they are “extremely pleased” with the publication of the Regulatory Authority’s Order as they can now compensate distributed generation customers “after a lengthy impasse during which BELCO was legally unable to compensate certain distributed generation customers.”

“Once signed contracts are in place with those who do not currently have them, the outstanding compensation, which totals approximately $11,000 overall based on the Authority’s defined feed-in-tariff rate of 17.36 cents per kWh, will be made as soon as possible,” the company said. Full statement here.

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Comments (11)

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  1. sage says:

    Rich get richer.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Explain please. No, I do not have solar & no, I am not a BELCO shareholder. Hundreds of average Bermudians are & anyone can own a piece of BELCO.

      • Kathy says:

        It is about bloody time!! Thank you to the RA for taking the side of the people!

        Why should someone who is produces energy from the sun and is required to feed it back to BELCO who then in turn gets to use that free energy to sell it back to someone else not get paid for producing such energy?

        The protectionism of BELCO must STOP!

        • sage says:

          Top rates are being maintained for ever for those who could afford solar first and also benefitted from government rebate, when you and I ever get ready we will get a far lower rate and no rebate.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Explain please. No, I do not have solar & no, I am not a BELCO shareholder. Hundreds of average Bermudians are & anyone can own a piece of BELCO.

  3. Sister Nancy says:

    Good enough pay up Belco.

  4. Clem says:

    I bet Belco put their prices up .

  5. Oh,I see now says:

    D

  6. Oh,I see now says:

    I can’t wait for the announcement of our bill increase in the near future ,guessing that will be first on the agenda at the next shareholders meeting.I would not be surprised if the shareholders are the majority of the people with solar panels.They get paid for energy they put back into the system in addition to the profits they receive from the company.

    Damn! I’m trying hard not to be a hater but their game is strong.

    • Kathy says:

      We need to make solar affordable for everyone in Bermuda. It is in the works.

      There is no excuse, we have the availability of sun to power our homes every day. We have to make it available to the average and lower income Bermudians so everyone can afford solar.

      Distributed energy is the only way to defeat the giant utility who knows nothing about being a progressive utility and is only interested in lining the pockets of their shareholders and locking us into LNG for the next 30 years! LNG is wrong for Bermuda, it is regressive!

      • hmm says:

        Renewable energy is transient energy so you will always need BELCO. Switching to LNG is better than continuing to burn HFO.

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