Resource Plan (IRP)
The Regulatory Authority (Authority), has required BELCO, as the only transmission, distribution and retail licensee, to prepare an integrated resource plan proposal (IRP). The Electricity Act 2016 (EA) requires that BELCO include in the IRP data such as consumer demand and capacity of infrastructure.
The EA requires that the IRP starts with a proposal from the primary provider, i.e. BELCO, which includes such data as consumer demand, capacity of infrastructure, production costs and more. The IRP is a plan that seeks to balance the future demand and supply of electricity; it plans for future power generation and accounts for outdated generation coming offline.
Although BELCO was required to develop the initial IRP Proposal, it is important to note that the RA ultimately decides whether to approve the IRP after public consultation. The IRP does not belong to BELCO; it belongs to Bermuda.
The IRP must include:
- a resource plan that sets out the expected demand for the relevant period, and the state of BELCO’s existing resources; and
- a procurement plan that details how BELCO proposes to meet such demand
The EA requires BELCO to consider:
- all possible resources, including new generation capacity, demand side resources, and retirement of generation capacity
- a range of renewable energy and efficient generation options
- a prudent diversification of the generation portfolio
Additionally, the EA requires BELCO to:
- prioritise actions that best meet the purposes of the EA, conform to Ministerial directions, and are reasonably likely to supply electricity at the least cost, subject to trade-offs contained in Ministerial directions or instructions from the Authority
- make desired recommendations for procurement of generation through competitive bidding
- include proposed limits for total distributed generation (for example, residential solar generation) capacity
The Regulatory Authority (RA) requested the IRP Proposal from BELCO in November 2017 and BELCO submitted it to the RA in February 2018. BELCO used numerous studies, sources and information to create a robust plan that we are confident will be the most reliable and cost-effective way of supplying energy to Bermuda for the next 20 years.
BELCO’s IRP Proposal envisages approximately 16% of generation from renewable energy sources, with rooftop solar and the Solar Photovoltaic Plant (The Finger) combining to generate 10% of total peak demand by 2019. One critical point of clarification is that BELCO’s proposal to replace power generation with its new North Power Station, as permitted under its bulk generation license, was already approved by the RA and is separate from the IRP.
As required by the Electricity Act, the IRP Proposal that BELCO prepared was published in May 2018 so that the public could provide input on the IRP, helping to inform the RA’s review and analysis. There was also the opportunity for interested parties to submit new proposals for bulk generation or demand side resources for potential inclusion in the IRP.
The RA received eight submissions of Alternative Proposals before the deadline in August 2018:
- BCM McAlpine and Bouygues Energies & Services submitted a proposal of interest to conduct a feasibility study for a 20 MW power plant at Ships Wharf using a variety of technologies.
- Bermuda Engineering Company Limited (BE Solar) submitted a proposal that considered both bulk generation and demand side resources, as well as distributed generation, resulting in a proposed increase in generation using renewable energy sources.
- Bermuda Environment Energy Solutions Group, Louis Berger Power and Corcon Ltd submitted a proposal to build a 56.2 MW power plant with a LNG/heavy fuel oil (HFO) dual fuel configuration at Ships Wharf.
- Bermuda General Agency Limited submitted a proposal to build a wave energy park; multiple sites have been identified for a potential 20 MW park.
- Brad Sorenson submitted a proposal to build up to 200 MW of generation capacity (clean water and power).
- Enviva and Albioma submitted a proposal to build 47MW of biomass based generating capacity.
- Offshore Utilities submitted a proposal to develop a floating storage, regasification and power generation unit producing up to 100 MW of power through Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).
- Sol Petroleum Bermuda Limited submitted a proposal for a dual fuel 20 MW or 55 MW power plant and LNG terminal at the Ferry Reach Marine Storage Terminal.
The public had until November 30, 2018, to comment on the IRP proposal and alternative proposals by submitting a written comment electronically. This allowed the public to have a say on the plan empirically, economically and rationally.
Following the consultation, the RA will, along with BELCO, proponents and other persons the RA deems relevant, hold as many meetings as the RA and BELCO consider necessary to assess the Proposals.
After considering the Proposals and comments from public, BELCO will revise the IRP, implementing the Authority’s comments, and submit a final draft to the Authority for review. The Authority may approve the IRP if it considers the final draft IRP to be the best approach to meeting the purposes of the EA and complying with Ministerial directons.