KINGSTON — The Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) has approved the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited’s Standard Offer Contract for the Purchase of As-Available Intermittent Energy from Renewable Facilities up to 100kW, effective October 3.
The 84-page OUR notice, the “Determination Notice Document” was released on September 30. It sets out the OUR’s decisions regarding the provisions of a Standard Offer Contract, which seeks to provide the opportunity to JPS customers, who generate electricity for their own use from renewable sources, to sell their excess energy to the national grid under a net billing arrangement.
The summary of the document referencedthe All-Island Electric Licence, 2001 Act, which establishes the framework for the planning and implementation of incremental additions of generation capacity to the national electric grid. The licence gives the JPS the exclusive right to transmit, distribute and supply electricity island-wide.
JPS may, under the licence, both generate and purchase the electricity it distributes through the national grid. However, where new generation is purchased, the licence requires such procurement to generally be done via competitive tender, except that the OUR may approve a simpler process in certain situations, such as for capacity additions under 15MW.
In June 2006, the OUR published its Regulatory Policy for the Addition of New Generating Capacity to the Public Electricity Supply System, titled: “Guidelines for the Addition of Generating Capacity to the Public Electric Supply System”.
Under the policy, the OUR outlined the modalities by which capacity and energy generation could be added to the public electricity supply system.
The policy provides, among other things, “for the procurement of small additions of energy, from renewable energy plants by way of a Standard Offer Contract issued by JPS."
The just released ‘Determination Notice’, sets out the terms of the Standard Offer Contract as approved by the OUR, and the process by which the purchase of energy under this arrangement will be implemented.
The licence to generate and supply power below 100 kilowatts to the Public Electricity System shall be valid for a term of 5 years, and the licensee shall comply with the terms and conditions of connection with the Public Electricity Supply System.
In addition, the licensee “shall ensure that its installation is inspected and certified by the Government Electrical Inspectorate. Where, during negotiations for the provision of interconnection there is any “dispute between the interconnection provider and the interconnection seeker, either party may refer the dispute to the Office of Utilities Regulation for resolution.”
The licence becomes null and void if the licensee breaches the terms and conditions, operates unsafely, or shall not have, within 12 months, installed the necessary infrastructure required to comply with the terms of the licence.
Applications for licences will be published in a national newspaper,and interested parties are allowed 30 days for submitting comments to the OUR. All applications and supporting documentation become the property of the OUR,upon submission. The OUR reserves the right to make public the names of corporate entities which have submitted applications,as well as such information about the contents of the applications as it deems appropriate.
Members of the public and other interested parties will have the right to inspect all applications and supporting documentation and to submit comments to the OUR.
An evaluation of each application will be conducted by the OUR, to determine eligibility for the issuance of a licence. The OUR reserves the right to conduct discussions with the applicant, if necessary, and the applicant should be prepared to be represented during the deliberations.
The OUR will subsequently prepare a report setting out its recommendation for acceptance or rejection of each application. This report will then be submitted to the Minister for his consideration.
“The Minister may upon receipt of a recommendation from the Office, either grant the licence, refer the recommendation back to the Office for further consideration, or refuse to grant the licence and the Minister shall as soon as practicable give written reasons for the refusal,” the OUR document stated.
By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter