OECS to launch energy regulatory body

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada– The Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority (ECERA) will be launched here on Thursday with the authorities saying it is intended to act as a vehicle to promote greater participation of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in the energy sector.

 Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his St. Lucia counterpart, Dr. Kenny Anthony, will address the launch of the authority which is a collaborative effort of the World Bank, St. Lucia-based OECS Secretariat, St. Lucia and the host country.

The governments said ECERA “will broadly be responsible for regulatory oversight of the electricity suppliers, including utilities and Independent power producers” and that its functions would include the design and implementation of mechanisms to reduce electricity costs; the development of measures to reduce cost volatility by diversifying energy supply away from fossil fuels and ensure least cost investments in electricity supply.

It will also be responsible for setting rules for market entry and exit for producers of electricity from renewable energy sources and possibly licensing such producers.

The organizers said that Thursday’s ceremony will be attended by energy sector policy makers from across the nine-member OECS, regional organisations, including the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) renewable energy project developers and financiers.

They said the major objectives of the launch are to give  visibility and awareness to the ECERA project, as well as foster information sharing and act as a vehicle to promote greater participation of the other OECS countries in the ECERA project.

“The broad objective of the ECERA project is to establish and operationalize a regional approach to the development of the electricity sector in the participating OECS countries by supporting the establishment of the ECERA to serve as many OECS member states as possible,” according to an official statement issued here.

The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

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