Exploring renewable energy
Monday, December 18, 2017
by Vibert Rameau, GIS

Regulatory reform on energy sources began in Saint Lucia in January 2016, with the coming into effect of the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC).

The role of the NURC is to regulate and license electricity generated from renewable sources.

Photovoltaic systems, also known as PV systems or solar power systems, is one such source. PV systems are designed to supply usable solar power by means of photovoltaics. It consists of an arrangement of solar panels to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity, a solar inverter to change the electric current from DC to AC, as well as other electrical accessories to set up a working system.

“When you think of photovoltaics, it is energy derived from the sun and one of the means of using that energy is through PV panels or photovoltaic panels,” explained Kerne Antoine, Energy Specialist at the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC). “This infrastructure facilitates the generation and conversion of electricity from the sun, to be used in homes or businesses, so that there is not such a great dependence on energy coming from the electricity network.”

Ms. Antoine further explained the procedures involved in obtaining a PV system.

“There is an application procedure in place that was Gazetted last year on Nov. 17, 2016. It sets out the guidelines for persons who are interested in being interconnected to generate energy using solar power from the sun, and it also sets the guidelines for persons who would like to be interconnected to LUCELEC’s grid.

“I should stress that before anyone procures or purchases any equipment they should visit the NURC. Usually they have an idea of what they would like to provide, so the NURC advises that they get all the requisite information for that system and also provide personal details, and particulars if they are business owners.”

A schematic of said system would also be required, in addition to a review fee as LUCELEC, being the owner of the only grid in Saint Lucia, would have to ensure that the proposed system meets safety standards and technical standards.