After a period of strong growth driven by an extremely favorable economic climate, the photovoltaic sector saw regulations change in a number of ways beginning in 2010. A new regulatory framework was established to correct for the unintended effects of previous changes and to improve management of the sector’s growth.
Going forward, the sector will benefit from:
- Net metering rates that are reassessed quarterly for installations generating less than 100 kW
- For installations generating more than 100 kW, the Energy Regulation Commission will put out a request for proposals (RFP) with evaluation criteria based on technical specifications, financial feasibility, as well as environmental impact and innovation (especially technology promoting storage of electricity generated)
The Regional Framework for the Solar Photovoltaic Sector
In Guadeloupe, the regional government sought to use the authority delegated to it to strengthen the framework for the solar photovoltaic sector.
Joint efforts towards this objective among the regional government, regulatory agencies and the photovoltaics sector led to the following guidance:
- Prioritize rooftop solar panels
- Limit land use by ground-mounted solar panels
- Increase transparency of conditions for connecting to the electricity grid and for ground-mounted solar photovoltaic projects in Guadeloupe
Based on this guidance, a specific framework was created in Guadeloupe that included:
- Restrictions on solar photovoltaic installations, with strict prohibition on installations generating more than 1.5 MW that lack a storage system
- Allocation of quotas for power not subject to grid-balancing regulations between three variable renewable energy sources: ground-mounted solar photovoltaics, rooftop solar photovoltaics, and wind turbines
- A photovoltaic–wind turbine commission that was tasked with evaluating ground-mounted solar photovoltaic projects requiring building permits was created by Deliberation CR/10-1372 published in the government gazette Journal Officiel dated December 17, 2010 and amended on February 1, 2011
Following the advice of the commission, the regional government selected the projects to be developed in Guadeloupe. As such, in February 2012, three projects were authorized by the region among the five ground-mounted solar photovoltaic proposals with storage capability that were submitted to the Energy Regulation Commission’s RFP. The three proposals selected represented 9.5 MW of production out of a total of 18.7 MW submitted. In February 2016, eight out of ten projects submitted were authorized by the regional government, representing 28.57 MW of production out of a total of 36.7 MW submitted. Only two out of eight projects were selected by the Energy Regulation Commission on June 11, 2016 under the non-interconnected zone solar photovoltaic RFP, representing 8.29 MW.