Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

New power provider to be announced this week

| 28/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands’ Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) said this week that the announcement regarding who has secured the contract to supply the additional 36 megawatts of power that will be required by Grand Cayman in the coming years was expected before Friday. Dart Enterprises Real Estate Ltd, the Louis Berger Group and Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) are the only firms that stayed in the running following the corruption scandal and allegations surrounding the original award to Dart in 2013 by the ERA’s ex-MD Joey Ebanks, who was convicted of stealing from the regulator. While officials have stated that price has dominated this bid, alternative energies from the current diesel fueled generation are also being considered.

This bid was not focused on green energy, but in a separate part of CUC’s licence the current monopoly power provider is obligated to search for a way to provide a certain percentage of its generation through renewables and the firm is currently going through the process of finding a green partner.

In this bid, in which the contracted supplier must be ready to power up by 2016, the ERA have stated that the price will be the most significant element but gas alternatives to oil were submitted. Between them the bidders submitted six different proposals, which included using liquefied propane gas and compressed natural gas as well as diesel oil and heavy fuel oil.

The current ERA Managing Director Charles Farrington said that once the bidder was announced the ERA was looking forward to developing its professional relationship with all the stakeholders, and interested parties, “to ensure a well-regulated and secure electricity sector, as well as exploring all avenues to further reduce the cost and improve the diversity of our electrical energy supply.”

The bid is  focused on the fact that Grand Cayman will have an increase in energy demand over the coming years and CUC will be retiring generators so will need this extra 36MW of power. The process to find it started in 2012 with a Request for Proposals (RFP) based on a Certificate of Need issued by the power firm. Having confirmed the need, the ERA determined set about an RFP. However that was derailed by allegations of corruption regarding the successful Dart bid from the former ERA head.

After the Anti-Corruption Commission found the accusations were unfounded the ERA began again.

The RFP indicated that the bid with the lowest cost per kilowatt-hour would win the “price” aspect of the competition, with 80 points but each bid could receive up to a further of 20 points based on other attributes such as environmental impact, fuel- and equipment-supply plans, financing, profitability, construction and operating plans – as well as other parameters.

Since  the submissions deadline the ERA and its consultant ICF International have “checked all bids against threshold requirements, and then meticulously evaluated them in accordance with the criteria set out in the RFP,” officials claimed.

For more information on the bid process, visit the ERA website at www.caymanera.ky

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Category: Local Business, Technology

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