The Age of Lump

Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

The Fair-Trading Commission’s rate hearings are tragically amusing. Essentially, Emera (BL&P) are telling Barbadians that 1 + 1 = 38.692. Based on the recent pattern, it is foreseen that FTC will find that 1 + 1 is a number higher than 32.

Several intervenors are using evidence and reason to show that it is sheer lunacy to suggest that 1 + 1 = 38.692. However, they seem oblivious to something that Emera and other foreign entities are relying on – Barbados no longer respects evidence-based arguments.


We have moved from the safety of making decisions based on evidence and reasoned arguments, to a dangerous age where decisions are made based on an end-justifies-the-means philosophy.

It is mathematically possible to argue that 1+ 1 equals a number between 1 and 3. Previously, foreign entities would have had too much respect for Barbadians to even suggest that 1 + 1 equals anything greater than three. But we have informed the world that in Barbados, the means of truth and accuracy are no longer important. The end may justify any dishonest, harmful and idiotic means imaginable.


The first domino to fall was the removal of Nelson’s statue based on provable false justifications. As I explained at the time, I was not defending Nelson but truth. We should not be forced to accept that 1 + 1 = 46 to justify removing any statue. I predicted that crossing this line of ignoring credible evidence, and using dishonest means to justify an end, would eventually be used against all of us.

The next domino to fall was our constitutional monarchical system of Government. The same end-justifies-the-dishonest-means philosophy was used in an even more brazen fashion to force Barbadians into a republic. The Government proved that by simply saying things that were clearly untrue, Barbadians will bow down and declare the lie to be the truth – that is who we have now become.


Some of our community leaders want it both ways. They want to force us to accept ends that they want using dishonest and harmful means, and delay ends that they do not want by insisting on evidence-based research. The UWI professors and lecturers, secondary school teachers, religious leaders, politicians, economists, poets, artists, business leaders, community leaders and others irresponsibly led Barbadians to ignore the dishonest means, fall in line and just accept the ends.

Crossing the line of reason was stupidly short sighted and extremely dangerous for citizens. Having sacrificed our personal integrity for a couple of dominoes, we must now accept ends that are definitely not in our best interests. The pattern of other countries who have gone this way before us, is that after the people short sightedly cheered the fall of the first few dominoes, the fall of the remaining dominoes tended to bring oppressive suffering.


I have a lot of respect for the intervenors, especially fellow Engineers Trevor Browne, Ricky Went and Stephen Worme, Attorney Tricia Watson and Accountant David Simpson. I appreciate their persistent evidence-based reasonable arguments. However, they seem not to know that we are in another age that few of us will like – the age of lump it.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at

42 thoughts on “The Age of Lump

  1. Funding tied to hike
    BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER COMPANY LIMITED’S (BL& P) ability to raise financing will “become far more challenging” if it is not granted a rate increase by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).
    The company’s director of finance Ricaido Jennings gave that assessment after intervenor Ricky Went pointed out that BL& P was able to borrow about $134 million at low interest rates over the past two years.
    BL& P wants the FTC to permit it to use a cost of capital structure that is 65 per cent equity (monies from its Canadian owner Emera), and 35 per cent debt (funds that are borrowed). The FTC approved this ratio in 2010 after the last rate hearing.
    On Day 9 of the hearing at the Accra Beach Hotel yesterday, expert witness Dr Bente Villadsen, who recommended the cost of capital structure BL& P wants approved to ensure it is permitted higher revenue via increased electricity rates, faced numerous questions on her recommendations.
    Went said that in 2020 and 2021, respectively, BL& P borrowed $57 million at 2.25 per cent interest rate and $76.9 million at 2.05 per cent. He also noted that the average cost of debt for the company was 2.78 per cent, while the cost of equity was 12.8 per cent.
    However, Villadsen said it was important to emphasise that the utility company’s ability to take on additional debt was predicated on financiers taking comfort from the fact there was “a lot of equity backing that debt”.
    Her view was supported by Jennings, who told the proceedings that “our ability to raise financing will become far more challenging if a reasonable rate of return is not allowed for”.
    “And the reason for that is that the existing loans have been raised on the basis of having reasonable regulatory relief and rates,” he explained.
    Based on forecast
    “So as it stands now, the last set of debt we raised was on the basis of a forecast that showed an increase in rates. We have not tested currently what the situation would be with a forecast without the rates, but if you look at . . . the forecast on the existing rates if we continue as we are, I don’t think that forecast will allow us to be able to raise debt at reasonable terms.”
    He added: “I think certainly it will in the first instance start to cause the cost of debt to increase because I think the level of risk is likely to be viewed as far more risky.
    “The debt service coverage ratio was approaching less than two [per cent] coming down to 1.35 [per cent] without any rate relief, and that I think certainly will cause the cost of the debt to increase.
    Then beyond that, I believe if it continues unabated, then our ability to raise debt will be challenged,” Jennings said.
    During her testimony, via Zoom, Villadsen said the fact that Barbados did not have an investment grade credit rating meant there were higher country risk in terms of BL& P’s ability to raise financing.
    She also said, in response to a question from Commissioner Dr Ankie Scott-Joseph, that the 65 per cent equity and 35 per cent capital structure proposed was reasonable.
    “It was approved in the most recent decision by the Fair Trading Commission . . . . So there are examples of what has been approved in the past of that magnitude, and the fact that it’s supported by the actual capital structure and the fact that the Commission has approved it in the past made me find it reasonable,” Villadsen said.
    “And then I should also emphasise that my cost of equity estimation process takes into account that level of equity.” (SC)

    Source: Nation

  2. Based on the above argument, I would suggest that the FTC quadruple the rate that Emera is requesting so that lenders will be willing to pay them to borrow money.

  3. The Intervenors are critical in the fight against Emera who is in business to maximise profits for their shareholders.

    Bajans may save money by using solar powered lighting and rechargeable batteries,

    The only lights outside my house are motion activated solar and rechargebles.

    • @Hants

      A majority of Barbadians are averse to making drastic change in usage based on rising fuel cost/electricity bill. You are correct, there are changes we should make at the household level to help ourselves.

  4. “The first domino to fall was the removal of Nelson’s statue based on provable false justifications.”
    “The next domino to fall was our constitutional monarchical system of Government.”

    I realized Phillips II is holding steadfastly to his ‘insurance theory.’
    That ‘government’s decision to remove Nelson’s statue and the Queen as Head of State was not “based on evidence and reasoned arguments,” but “an end-justifies-the-means philosophy.”

    And, by doing so, Barbados essentially ‘cancelled’ its ‘insurance policy,’ which also resulted in “foreign entities” losing respect for the island.

    I believe Bushie’s ‘monument at the Garrison’ argument is more plausible.

    • @Artax

      These kinds of issues will always evoke emotional responses from some people and this is fine. What some of us want to see is a holistic plan to transform and sustain a relevant cultural landscape.

  5. Grenville is like a prisoner who becomes a gangster’s bitch for protection losing his self esteem which drives him to madness. Like a long term prisoner he has become used to the life and is scared to leave and go outside.
    He will continue mourning Removal of Nelson and Crown for Independence until his soul leaves his body.

    Have some mercy and pity him he knows no better.
    His musings are amusing but dead wrong.
    He will never lead the nation or win a seat as he is not politically correct and is a rightwing token like Diamond and Silk video bloggers

    Tumbao Africano

  6. “The UWI professors and lecturers, secondary school teachers, religious leaders, politicians, economists, poets, artists, business leaders, community leaders and others irresponsibly led Barbadians to ignore the dishonest means, fall in line and just accept the ends.”

    when you don’t know
    you don’t know
    and can never be conscious
    and will always be anxious

    The Lost Connection
    some blacks are not Africans and never will be
    they are crossovers to the other side

  7. “What some of us want to see is a holistic plan to transform and sustain a relevant cultural landscape.”


    ‘My thoughts exactly.’

    Actually, I was going to include a similar comment in my contribution, but decided not to do so.

  8. Artax:

    Please do not confuse the issues. The insurance/military alliance issue only came up when someone wanted to know what we had to lose by becoming a republic. You may think that the military alliance (which Ukraine desperately wants) was worthless or non-existent, but that is a separate issue to the means through which Barbados became a republic.

    Becoming a republic was based on the foundation that the public gave their consent in the 2018 General Election. In response to the Queen, the Government stated that it was in the BLP’s 2018 General Election Manifesto – an untruth that you and every reader is well aware, but are willing to accept to achieve the end. Ditto with Nelson.

    Now this generation must watch the remaining dominoes fall, having scarified our personal integrity by accepting what we all knew to be lies – just to cheer on the fall of the first couple of dominoes. Our children will ask us if it was worth it – after they curse us for our short-sighted stupidity.

  9. I don’t understand the whining about the high electricity prices. Everyone on our island has the opportunity to install solar panels on their villas and latifundia. You even make a profit with the electricity!

  10. Tron:

    Everyone has the opportunity to go to space, but few have the means. The middle class are joining the ranks of the house/rent-poor with little disposable income.

    To allow more to have not only the opportunity but the capacity, the Government should bring in the PV panels duty free and sell them at cost to homeowners.



  12. @ Artax
    “I believe Bushie’s ‘monument at the Garrison’ argument is more plausible.”
    That is an attempted low-blow…. 🙂
    Unfortunately, Bushies’s ‘monument at the Garrison’ theory is as plausible as the bushman’s expectations of chaos for the coming months…… AND for Bajan donkeys to suffer badly in the grass.

    @ Grenville
    We should not be surprised at the level of GRAFT being displayed by Emera. This is an organization that DEFINES itself by dollars.
    The REAL sickness is that black victims of 400 years of similar exploitation, can so EASILY fall again for the same scam.

  13. Bush Tea October 4, 2022 2:18 PM #: “That is an attempted low-blow…. 🙂”

    Bush Tea

    I’m sorry you believe my comment was, “an attempted low blow.”

    But, far from it, my friend….. that was not my intention.

    All I’m ‘saying’ is, when compared with Mr. Phillips II’s arguments as presented in his article, your argument has much more merit.

    It seems as though the Barbadians will soon experience hardship, especially next year.

    And, I know you usually dismiss economic theory, but, Emera is doing exactly what is expected of a monopoly in a monopolistic market.

    Emera is a dominant company, being the sole supplier of electricity services to many customers, thereby controlling the market…… and is deemed to be a ‘price maker’ because it sets the price and supply of electricity.

  14. Bush:

    You wrote: “The REAL sickness is that black victims of 400 years of similar exploitation, can so EASILY fall again for the same scam.”

    The problem is that this time, our influencers have pushed us over the edge – there are now real oppressive consequences for their irresponsible behaviour. But there will be a reckoning.

  15. @ nextparty246 October 4, 2022 12:38 PM

    Our honourable government already promotes the installation of solar power systems for electricity generation through tax rebates. Thus, these installations are no more expensive than in North America or Europe.

    @ BAJE October 4, 2022 1:32 PM

    You obviously don’t live on our beautiful island. At least my honourable (black) neighbours all have very huge solar panels.

  16. @ David October 4, 2022 5:05 PM

    The DLP grandee spreads horrible conspiracy theories. Like after the last election when he made completely baseless accusations of electoral fraud.

    Even now, our island suffers from the after-effects of the lost decade. This is obviously not enough for the DLP. The DLP wants to undermine the foundations of democracy and thus destroy our island.

  17. What must this man do to get through to you?

    They say a word to the wise is sufficient.

    The sure way to go
    Is put your faith in Ronnie O

  18. @David
    In what other should a commercial entity that is a public company define itself?
    Perhaps high quality service excellence and customer satisfaction to start…
    along with cutting edge technology initiatives…

    But then the profits that would flow as a result would make Apple look like a walk in the park.

    ‘Money’ is NOT the problem Boss, it is the LOVE of the stuff – at any cost, … that define albino-centric inclinations.

    @ Artax
    ‘’….and is deemed to be a ‘price maker’ because it sets the price and supply of electricity”
    So why are we having these long boring hearings then? If Emera are price makers?
    Seems to Bushie that it is the FTC that are the price makers….
    Did Dominica and Grenada not ‘declare independence’ from them recently?

    BTW Artax, (as the resident BU research professor,) have you analyzed Barbados’ fate since FUMBLE built the monument at the Garrison and planted the black pitchfork in the ground…?

    Think ‘direct correlation…”

  19. @Tron October 4, 2022 4:33 PM

    “Our honourable government already promotes the installation of solar power systems for electricity generation through tax rebates. Thus, these installations are no more expensive than in North America or Europe.”

    The installation cost are still prohibitively high for most. Further, Emera/FTC will simply increase the cost of electricity so that they maintain their profits/dividends. The domino has already fallen on all of us – Barbadians (including those with PV systems) just do not recognize it yet.

  20. @ nextparty246 October 4, 2022 8:00 PM

    About the price: The modules and installation are definitely not more expensive than in the US or EU.

    About Emera: There is the option to connect the solar modules to a battery and thus run your villa self-sufficiently without Emera power. The battery can also be used as an emergency power supply in the event of a power failure.

    If your plantation is large enough, you can also set up solar panels in the garden and use them to charge your electric vehicle fleet.

    Tron – “You have to be able to afford Barbados.”

  21. Bush Tea

    RE: “So why are we having these long boring hearings then? If Emera are price makers?”

    Please note, I presented a few characteristics of a monopoly.
    Emera does not have any competitors and the closest substitute there is to electricity, is solar energy, of which there isn’t any widespread use to give the company competition.
    So, the firm has enough market power to control or influence market prices of its product, (electricity), and associated services, without losing customers in the process.

    However, (and, without going into too many details), “these long boring hearings” are as a result of Emera ‘setting the price.’
    One method ‘government’ uses to intervene in a monopolistic market, is by establishing a regulatory agency, e.g, Fair Trading Commission, a function of which is to simply regulate monopolies, thereby protecting the interests of consumers. 
    Whenever there is a request to the Commission for a rate increase, consumers, lawyers, accountants, etc, become involved in the process, as intervenors, by participating in the public rate hearings case.
    Persons should make compelling arguments to persuade the Commission of their viewpoints.

    These rate hearings provide members of the public with an opportunity to make a difference, by participating in the utility regulatory process.
    Instead, we prefer to depend on one or two persons to intervene on our behalf, while coming in this forum to ‘talk’ some shiite (ME included), and complain.

    RE: “BTW Artax, (as the resident BU research professor,)……”

    Now, that is what I would ‘call’ a “low blow.”

    Especially when you consider the number of times I’ve been called an ‘appallingly ignorant semi-literate buffoon,’ then, it’s a travesty to use ‘Artax and professor’ in the same sentence.


  22. BL&P nearing renewable energy capacity
    THE ELECTRICITY GRID’S CAPACITY to accommodate renewable energy (RE) is nearing its capacity eight years before the country is to become fully dependent on this source of power.
    This was revealed yesterday by Barbados Light & Power Co Ltd’s (BL& P) director of asset management Rohan Seale, who said the company was in the process of procuring 45 megawatts (MW) of battery storage to mitigate the challenge.
    However, with supply chain uncertainties and other issues meaning that this solution is at least a year away, he said BL& P was pursuing other solutions, and that householders with RE systems with battery storage may have to be allowed to “absorb some of that power and decrease the [RE] penetration level”.
    Seale was giving evidence remotely as part of a witness panel when the Fair Trading Commission electricity rate hearing convened on Day 10 at the Accra Beach Hotel in Christ Church.
    During cross-examination by intervenor the Barbados Renewable Energy Association, represented via Zoom by vice-president Stephen Worme, the director of asset management said there were now 74 megawatts of electricity produced from RE sources on the national electricity grid – 64 from private entities and ten from BL& P’s solar farm in Trents, St Lucy. Worme, a former long-standing BL& P employee, asked Seale what challenges he saw developing “as we increase the capacity of renewable energy on the grid”. “What can happen sometimes on a very low day [is] that penetration of renewable energy can reach as high as 40 per cent. And . . . it does cause some challenges for our system operators to manage the network. It can cause voltage issues and also swings, from a frequency
    perspective,” Seale said. “So we do have to manage very carefully the other assets that we have online to make sure that those units can respond to maintain the requisite system frequency levels. So we do have challenges from that high [RE] penetration level, but we are managing currently.” Seale also pointed out that with 64 MW of “distributed RE capacity” now on the grid, plus BL& P’s own ten MW, “we are very close to that limit of around 70 or 80 megawatts that was identified in the . . . study many years ago that would allow our system to operate safely without mitigation.
    “We are practically at that limit so we need . . . additional devices in order to stabilise the network. We have identified those as additional battery storage, and also equipment such as synchronous condensers that would allow for the system to operate stably,” he said.
    “We are already in the process of seeking to procure up to 45 megawatts of battery storage. We would have received responses to that [request for proposals] that we would have issued to the market . . . and of course the full procurement and implementation is subject to . . . the vagaries of [the] supply chain and some of the post COVID impacts,” he said.
    Seale added: “Most suppliers have indicated because of demand and supply chain [issues], it will probably be around a year before full implementation of those particular assets. But we are working with suppliers to see how best we can improve any of those timelines, but it’s typically a year and we are still making that assessment.”
    Worme asked Seale if it was still possible to add more RE from non-BL& P sources to the electricity grid given the current limitations.
    “There are other options
    or strategies available to us, some that we are currently implementing. We . . . can upsize devices such as transformers [and] perform certain upgrades,” the witness responded.
    He also suggested that householders with RE systems and battery storage could utilise it, but conceded there was currently no regulated rate for energy storage or related licences.
    Seale said BL& P was “working with a number of stakeholders to address that particular issue”.
    He added that the company was continuing its own investments “in support of the transition to a hundred per cent RE”. (SC)

    Source: Nation

  23. Utility company defends spending $26 million on old plant
    BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER CO LTD (BL& P) has spent $26 million to keep its oldest existing generating plant in service over the past six years, having reversed its decision to retire the facility ten years ago.
    The investment included $19.2 million spent between 2018 and 2020 alone, but BL& P director of operations Johann Greaves insisted yesterday the company acted prudently in sustaining the lives of two steam turbines commissioned in 1976, one which is now being used to provide spare parts for the other.
    BL& P’s decision not to retire the steam plants in 2012, as it previously committed to, has divided opinion among intervenors and the company’s representatives on several occasions during the ongoing Fair Trading Commission electricity rate hearing at the Accra Beach Hotel.
    It returned to the fore yesterday on Day 10 of the hearing during the testimony of an asset management witness panel comprised of Greaves, director of asset management Rohan Seale, and director of finance Ricaido Jennings. They all gave evidence virtually as the hearing continued to adopt a hybrid format.
    BL& P lead counsel Ramon Alleyne, who also appeared via Zoom, asked Greaves during his examination why a decision was taken in 2019 to spend $9 million on the steam turbines, even though the intention was to retire them in 2023. Greaves explained that during a routine inspection of one of the units, S2, “fairly extensive damage” to its rotor was discovered. A check of the other steam turbine, S1, also found “some damage on that rotor as well but not to the magnitude of the one on S2”. He said after considering the other two options of renting generation capacity, or building a new plant, undertaking repairs to the steam turbines was deemed the best, and least expensive option at the time. However, Greaves added that on further consideration of the additional cost deemed necessary to repair S2, “we would have assessed and determined that it would have been more prudent at that point in time to not continue with the rebuild of the S2 unit, but rather to take those critical components and keep them, store them appropriately, that they could be used as spares for its sister unit S1”.
    Speaking later in the proceedings while being cross-examined remotely by intervenor, chartered accountant David Simpson, Greaves said that between 2012 and now, the availability of the steam units was
    But he also pointed out that after having a thermal efficiency of 24.8 per cent in 2012, and 24.1 per cent in 2019, the steam plant’s efficiency increased to 27.8 per cent following the investments.
    Simpson asked the director of operations if BL& P expected to “make any further significant investment in the steam plant between now and its retirement date” of 2023. “At this point in time, no, provided that there are no failures on the unit. Our maintenance schedule . . . from here through to the end of 2023 has no major investments planned for that unit,” Greaves said.

    Source: Nation

  24. Duguid knocks power company
    THE BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER (BL& P) COMPANY has been criticised for not following through on a project that would see a number of its poles being repurposed to withstand damage during a catastrophe.
    The missive came from Senior Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister for coordinating all infrastructural projects, Dr William Duguid, as he introduced debate on the Catastrophe (Amendment) Bill, 2022, in the House of Assembly yesterday.
    The Member of Parliament for Christ Church West said he was aware of a move to change the wooden light poles that were destroyed ten feet and above after Tropical Storm Maria.
    He said a proposal was put to BL& P “to make a lighter but more efficient
    pole made of a hollow concrete . . . and these light poles would not be placed all over” but would be done with redundancy.
    “They do 5 000 light poles a year I am told. That means the 80 000 light poles in Barbados, so in about 14 to 15 years they would have been able to replace all of the poles with a better, more resilient light pole . . . making the country more resilient to provide electricity after a catastrophic event.”
    However, he added: “You know, Mr Speaker, they shelved that when the company was changed . . . . I think a company focused on the bottom line and not understanding their social responsibility I have a problem with . . . . If it was not for the hard-working people of this country they would be no Emera and Light & Power.”
    Duguid said Hurricane Elsa “was a tremendous burden on this country” and the Catastrophe (Amendment) Bill, 2022, passed yesterday was necessary to expedite repairs to 1 746 houses
    impacted and who reached out to get assistance”.
    He said there were also many private people who did not reach out to Government and fixed their houses on their own, “many of them that the insurance companies look at and say, ‘Oh, the amount of damage that you have does not come to your deductible so you have to do it totally on your own’, me included”.
    He said of the 1 746 houses spread among the Urban Development Commission, Rural Development Commission and National Housing Corporation, “they have been able to do 554 and started 537, so 73 per cent of those houses have either started or completed”.
    Duguid said that amendment to the fund would allow for agencies to be proactive and have access to funding to do repairs, instead of having to pay individuals who applied for grants. (JS)

    Source: Nation

  25. Tron:

    You will still have to pay Emera even if you are off the electrical distribution grid – because they must maintain their profits. Where do they get their money? From all of us.

  26. @ David
    Heard that exchange.
    Long ‘argument’ with them both saying exactly the same thing.

    Hope the other issues are clearer… LOL

    • @Bush Tea

      Although the intervenors are doing a thankless job on behalf of Barbadians, one gets the impression there will be an inevitable outcome to processings.

      Govt needs energy plan

      ENERGY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH will always trump climate policies. This is evident given the pronouncements from Government about allowing offshore oil and gas exploration even as it champions climate change issues.
      This country needs to earn foreign exchange beyond the tourism industry, international business sector, rum production, remittances and light manufacturing. Oil and gas would be a major fillip.
      If the international drilling exploration operators that win bid blocks to explore within the island’s economic zone strike viable quantities of oil and gas, then Barbados would be hoping to have the kind of economic returns Guyana is earning from the extensive deposits from its offshore wells.
      An important point of note is that Guyana started drilling before some of the big industry players began decarbonising their operations.
      The talk and promise of a net zero situation by 2050 is ambitious, as are the important commitments of getting onto a two-degree pathway. Barbados remains supportive of these objectives but must deal with certain realities.
      Satisfying our energy demands in the most cost-efficient way to avoid pushing up inflation and creating widespread anxiety amongst citizens is a priority.
      Barbados is in a predicament. Rising prices of oil on the world market and the worsening of the situation since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have placed us in a quandary that will not quickly disappear.
      Barbados’ big objective is to successfully make offshore oil finds before there is a major shift worldwide to clean energy.
      Finding and subsequently drilling for oil is not a quick or cheap process and it requires many specialised skills. It would not be surprising if there is little headway in the next five years with our offshore drilling programme.
      The Mia Amor Mottley administration must be mindful of the drop in spending on exploration by the major oil companies even if it remains core to their business, including renewal and growth strategy.
      As Government sensitises Barbadians about buying into green initiatives, it should spell out its energy policy with clear implementation deadlines over the next decade in an ever-changing environment. This should include switching its fleet of vehicles to electric-powered ones, such as those assigned to the President, Prime Minister, judges and other senior officials.
      Solar panels
      All public buildings, including those occupied by statutory corporations, schools and health institutions, should be outfitted with solar panels, while an effective maintenance programme must also be instituted to service and upkeep these systems.
      Government must address the issue of EV charging ports across the island, setting out the standards and requirements for entrepreneurs to offer such a service. There must be a policy on importing and disposal of batteries.
      We expect all major new building developments and refurbishment projects, including the National Housing Corporation’s housing estates, will be equipped with alternative energy systems and to harvest water.
      The country faces difficult financial circumstances but the green initiative must not go off track. It is far better than relying on fossil fuels.
      The Mia Amor Mottley administration must be mindful of the drop in spending on exploration by the major oil companies even if it remains core to their business, including renewal and growth strategy.

      Source: Nation

  27. Sticking to plan ‘not a sure thing’

    BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER COMPANY LIMITED (BL& P) says there is no guarantee it will implement proposed investment plans if the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) approves its application for a rate increase.
    This follows concerns raised by intervenors at the rate hearing yesterday that the utility company did not implement promised capital expansion projects after it received a tariff hike in 2010.
    BL& P director of finance Ricaido Jennings, and director of operations Johann Greaves, said the company could not give assurances to follow through on capital investment plans, and its five-year forecast, because the operating environment could change.
    The officials were questioned repeatedly on the issue on Day 11 of the FTC rate hearing at Accra Beach Hotel yesterday, as a three-member asset management witness panel that included director of asset management Rohan Seale, was crossexamined for a second day.
    Intervenor attorney Tricia Watson read from the transcript of the 2009 rate hearing to pointed out that back then, senior executives of the company gave sworn evidence that it would make investments in a new and more efficient plant for the benefit of Barbadians.
    She asked the BL& P panel if the FTC and Barbadians should “regard your capital expansion plan and your five-year forecasts as any more reliable than the sworn evidence and the capital expansion plan and five-year forecasts in 2009 that you then didn’t implement after being granted your requested rate of return and cost of capital?”
    Jennings said in response
    that in relation to the previous rate hearing, “there were several assumptions that were made that did not materialise”.
    “That forecast included a significant increase in sales and that did not materialise. That forecast obviously contemplated, or was based, on certain growth projections and on certain other items happening, which didn’t materialise,” he explained.
    “The response to the company I think was an appropriate response because . . . a plan is just plan. As the circumstances change you need to respond to that plan and not stick slavishly to that plan. I think that’s the real testing of prudence that you don’t just stick to what’s written in the plan, you respond to the situations as they change. I expect, similarly, that that will happen.”
    Five-year forecast
    He added: “One of the big differences here though is that we filed an application based on the 2020 test year and here we are at the end of 2022, and we’re still hearing [the application], and that five-year forecast has a year and a piece of actual data that supports that the forecast is fairly reasonable.
    “And we also have acknowledged in our application that we will continue to approach and respond to things as they change.” Greaves was also quizzed on the matter by intervenor The Cooperative Coalition/ Barbados Sustainable Energy Cooperative Society Ltd, represented by president Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Tyrone.
    He asked Greaves if Barbados “can . . . rest assured that the promises contained in an application for a rate review by the company can be taken as something worth their weight on paper”.
    “The plans that we present
    as part of this application, based on all the information we have right now, is the best available information to us and these represent the plans that the company has in the next five years,” the director of operations said.
    “However, we recognise that we are in a very transitionary state as an energy sector, and as other information becomes available, then obviously we need to be adaptable, [and] our plans need to be adaptable, to incorporate the direction in which the country wishes to go.”

    Source: Nation

  28. While you were out:

    First Green Hydrogen Power Plant in Barbados
    In line with Barbados’ ambitious targets of 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality by 2030, IFC and IDB Invest are working with Hydrogène de France (HDF) and Rubis to support the development of Renewstable Barbados, a 50 MW solar generation facility with green hydrogen and lithium-ion battery storage that will provide firm and clean electricity to the Barbadian grid. In addition, Renewstable Barbados is designed to host the largest sheep farm on island, contributing to both energy and food security of Barbados.

    The Barbados Green Hydrogen Trifecta Is A Quad-fecta
    Depending on what you count, the new “Renewstable Barbados” project involves four elements, not just three. Either way, it demonstrates that some nations are not waiting around for emerging systems like green hydrogen and agrivoltaics to mature.

    Renewstable Barbados is a relatively small project, aiming to provide electricity for just 16,000 homes. However, its impact could be widespread in terms of combining energy production with food security through the agrivoltaic model.

    It will consist of a 50-megawatt solar array with on-site green hydrogen and a lithium-ion battery storage system. It will also play host to a livestock operation that is described as the largest sheep farm on the island.

    The hydrogen and battery storage elements also overcome the challenge of intermittent energy from solar panels, which of course do not produce electricity at night.

    The developers are not letting the grass grow under their feet. Construction is slated to begin next year if all goes according to plan.


    Published on
    December 9, 2022

    The developers of the largest hybrid power plant in Barbados and the region have assured measures are being implemented to prevent and mitigate any negative impacts on the environment and surrounding communities during the construction and operation of the facility.

    HDF Energy and RUBIS are developing Renewstable Barbados, a 50 MW solar generation facility in St Philip with green hydrogen and lithium-ion battery storage that will provide firm and clean electricity to the grid.

    During the first town hall meeting on the project held at the Princess Margaret Secondary School on Wednesday, a discussion was held to inform residents about the results of the first Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) conducted by Stantec Caribbean.

    The ESIA covered several aspects of the construction process, including the quantitative risk, drainage, social impact, and agriculture impact assessments, as well as an acoustic modelling study.

    Overall, the extensive survey reinforced the positive aspects of the proposed plant. In generating clean green power using solar and hydrogen processes it will generate gaseous emissions that are non-polluting and there will be low noise pollution to surrounding communities. Additionally, the large-scale sheep farm that is part of the project will serve not only as a grazing site but as a grass harvesting one as well.

    However, some residents expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the project which will take up approximately 183 acres of land.

    In response, sociologist Janice Cumberbatch, who was a part of the ESIA study, said monitoring of operations at the site will be an ongoing process that will include not only independent contractors but agents from state entities as well.

    “The way this works is that when the recommendations are made and the company starts construction or operations, they are going to be required to implement measures and then the regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Department, or the Ministry of Health, or the Ministry of Energy, will be required – as part of what you will see in the EIA document – to monitor. They will be required to view the reports that the company will prepare in terms of how they are operating,” she explained.

    “Another thing that is frequently required and has been recommended as part of my [contribution] to the report is that there will be a stakeholder engagement process. It has been recommended that there be a stakeholder liaison…, to put it bluntly. That person is expected to slam tar on a regular basis.”

    The liaison between the project and the community as well as agents from the regulatory agencies will be required to be in the surrounding communities on a regular basis to oversee any existing or potential issues due to the construction or operation processes.

    Vector control – the process of limiting the transmission of pathogens and diseases within a given environment – was also a concern for people living in the area, given the proposed sheep husbandry operations that will take place around the installed solar panels.

    HDF Project Manager Jacqueline Beckles assured residents that agriculture consultants were currently working on several processes aimed at restricting the spread of any harmful vectors from the site.

    “The planning and development department actually is very interested in vector control, so one of the things we specifically commented on for them was how we would go about ensuring that things like rats and rodents won’t accumulate onsite.

    “During the design process, the exact procedures have to be laid out, so the intention from the very beginning – the agriculture consultants are working on that right now – is to determine what those processes need to be in order to ensure that vectors are not propagated on site.”

    She also added that though the plant will use 65 cubic metres of water daily, half of that will be recycled throughout the plant.

    “The process of generating hydrogen requires pure water, so whatever comes into the system has to be purified with the water treatment facility before it goes into the electrolyzers. When that treatment process happens, half of it is discharged and that half is put into a holding pond,” Beckles explained.

    “We test it to make sure to find out what the mineral content will be, and once we are okay that it can be reused, it will go towards things like irrigation, panel washdown – because, of course, the panels have to be kept clean –, it will go towards the farm and cleaning the farm and maintaining the site in a general way. You can actually say half the water that we are using in the process is reused.”

    The Renewstable Barbados project is under joint development by HDF Energy and Rubis. (SB)

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