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PM, Gonzales: T&T Government considering solar power legislation – Newsday TT

Shell’s senior vice president and country chair Eugene Okpere speaks at the sod-turning ceremony in Brechin Castle, Couva for a solar site on Wednesday. Photo by Lincoln Holder
Shell’s senior vice president and country chair Eugene Okpere speaks at the sod-turning ceremony in Brechin Castle, Couva for a solar site on Wednesday. Photo by Lincoln Holder

Clint Chan Tack, Newsday TT

EnergiesNet.com 04 14 2023

THE Prime Minister and Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said Government is considering legislation to allow citizens to sell electricity generated through the use of solar power into the national electricity grid.

Addressing a sod-turning ceremony at Brechin Castle, Couva for the first of two solar photovoltaic plants of Project Lara, Dr Rowley said, “Very soon, you will see the Government going to the Parliament and adjusting the regulations where they have to ensure that those persons in the private sector who invest in individual supplies of solar power at their facilities, be it at businesses or at homes, the arrangements are made to encourage them to sell their surplus power into the grid.”

Speaking after the ceremony to the media, Gonzales said he is currently reviewing recommendations to bring legislation to Parliament that will allow “private citizens, not only from a commercial standpoint but from a domestic standpoint to be able to establish solar panels on their homes.”

This, he continued, would allow people to generate electricity from solar panels at their homes and “reduce their dependency on the electricity grid and T&TEC.

He was optimistic that Government will soon be in a position to share this policy with the population.

Gonzales recalled that an initiative a few years ago to get the population interested in LED lightbulbs, as a means of conserving energy, did not work.

“Citizens simply were not incentivised to use LED bulbs.”

He added, “The pricing structure for electricity in TT does not incentivise citizens to engage in conservation activities.”

Gonzales noted this was happening while the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) is considering a proposed increase in electricity rates. He reiterated the importance of the review of electricity rates to T&TEC and its financial position.

He hinted at other energy conservation strategies being considered by Government.

“A lot is happening and all of the parts are coming together.”

Gonzales hoped that this will led to citizens being better educated about energy conservation and “the fact that we need to conserve our energy, so we can have more access to our gas, so we can sell to our downstream industries and to our energy sector.”

He said this will also “lower our carbon footprint to save our environment.”

Gonzales also disclosed that construction of a 220,000 volt circuit from the Union sub-station to the Gandhi sub-station will be completed next week.

He said this will allow full dispatch of 770 megavolts of electricity from Trinidad Generation Unlimited’s (TGU) plant at Union Estate in La Brea, boosting power on the national grid.

A Trinidad-wide blackout occurred on April 29, 2022, when a fungus-infected palmiste tree fell on a 220,000 volt line in this area.

newsday.co .tt 04 13 2023

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