The Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) has been monitoring DOMLEC’s Capacity Management Programme.
Recently, the Dominica Electricity Services Company Ltd (DOMLEC) implemented a series of load shedding schedules in response to limitations in its current capacity.
Load shedding is a controlled and temporary measure implemented by utility companies with a capacity shortage that can assist with the management of electricity supply during periods of high demand, extreme heat conditions and unexpected disruptions in the power system.
While load shedding may be a necessary stop-gap intervention, at this time, the frequent and prolonged disruption in electricity across the island continues to have a negative impact on households and businesses.
The Electricity Supply Act 2006, No. 10 of 2006 of the Commonwealth of Dominica, guides the IRC as it monitors DOMLEC’s load shedding activities to ensure compliance with established policies. In so doing, the IRC also aims to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected.
In 2016, the IRC approved a 1.5-megawatt (MW) diesel generation plant for DOMLEC. Out of the 16.5 MW generation allowed, DOMLEC successfully implemented 1.5 MW generation in 2020. In 2020, the IRC also approved a generation license for a 10 MW geothermal plant for the Dominica Geothermal Development Company (DGDC) of Dominica. In 2022, in compliance with the National Energy Policy, the IRC awarded DOMLEC the project to develop a 5 MW Solar Plant at Tarrou.
The IRC has been working with both DOMLEC and the Ministry with responsibility for Energy to properly address the issues involving DOMLEC’s current capacity problems. IRC’s consideration for approving added generation capacity must be aligned to the National Resilience Development Strategy (NRDS) and the National Energy Policy (NEP).
The IRC and DOMLEC have started the Electricity Rate Review process. Any future purchase of diesel generators will negatively impact electricity rates for all customers.
The IRC is supporting the national efforts to find the most effective solution to the current crisis, with a strong preference for a sustainable resolution, one that would not put unnecessary burden on the rate payers.
The IRC is committed to ensuring that consumers in Dominica receive the highest quality of electricity at fair and affordable rates while maintaining the financial viability of DOMLEC.
The IRC is extremely concerned about the issues and challenges being faced by the utility and is mobilized to support the collective effort to resolve the issue, sooner rather than later.