ANGLEC CONNECTS ANGUILLA TO A GREENER FUTURE WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY
You may not have known it, but if you reside in Anguilla you’ve been consuming renewable energy for over a month now. Anguilla Electricity Company, LTD (ANGLEC) recently completed construction of its 1 megawatt (MW) solar plant which was integrated into ANGLEC’s power grid – after a series of tests – on May 21st, 2015.
Over the years, ANGLEC has explored alternative sources of energy in an effort to provide Anguilla with cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy. Today, ANGLEC is proud to have the opportunity to maximize on the use of solar energy for Anguilla which offers both long-term economic and technical benefits over other innovations. This is exciting news for ANGLEC and its customers!
Mr. Gumbs, ANGLEC’s CEO, noted that this is a significant accomplishment for ANGLEC and Anguilla: “Our solar farm will produce energy from a renewable source equivalent to that of 500 households in Anguilla. We are pushing the boundaries in the industry. ANGLEC’s team, including its engineers, finance and other support staff, have been working hard on this initiative for several years. I am proud of their commitment and dedication”.
The installation of the new grid-tied solar power plant required 3 main phases: Civil Works, Mechanical Installation and Electrical Installation. The Civil Works phase began in January 2016 with site preparation, drilling and piling, trenching, draining, fencing and foundations. “Site prep and drilling slowed the project a bit, but the team made up for the time lost through hard work and dedication”, noted the Project Coordinator, Mrs. Mariscia Roach-Grant. She further noted that due to the near impenetrable nature of the limestone rock that covers much of Anguilla’s terrain, contractors had to employ an alternative method of drilling with highly specialized equipment using compressed air.
Over the weeks that followed the initial preparations, contractors Uriel Renewables, Inc. and sub-contractors, Instalaciones Electricas de Sanxenxo (INELSA), worked 6 days a week from 7 am-6 pm in order to complete the project on schedule. In addition to the contracted teams, 13 local workers were employed to aid in the construction of the solar plant.
ANGLEC’s Systems Control Engineer, Mr. Sylvan Brooks, took great pride in watching the project come to fruition. Brooks is responsible for generation and renewable energy at ANGLEC and played an integral role in the project’s development and oversite. “Witnessing the actual installation of the panels, and seeing the project transform into a real solar plant, was my favorite part of the process”, Brooks remarked. In total, 4,452 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed at the generation plant in Corito, Anguilla. The full plant houses rows of solar PV panels organized in accordance to their production levels. Each panel produces Direct Current (DC) power by absorbing sunlight that is later converted into Alternating Current (AC) electricity to be used in households all over Anguilla.
This project is a landmark development for Anguilla’s future, and positions the island as one of the leaders in renewable energy throughout the region. Observers from other countries have also come to visit the new solar plant. It is a point of interest as it produces one of the highest solar penetration percentages (over 10%) in the region, and runs a spinning reserve to mitigate power loss and damage due to the intermittency of solar energy production.
On Thursday July 7th 2016 a group of ANGLEC’s employees were guided on a tour of the plant by Mr. Brooks and ANGLEC’s Electrical Foreman, Mr. Angel Clark. The tour covered the solar plant along with the accompanying conversion system and monitoring facility that is supervised around-the-clock. In addition to the constant monitoring of energy production and output levels onsite, contractors in Spain also monitor the plant through the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) and can intervene remotely in the event of an emergency. “They have been very nice and dependable”, said Mr. Clark in regard to the assistance and support provided by Uriel Renewables, Inc. since the project’s completion.
Clark added: that “It was a lot of planning and regulation but we are learning as we continue to work”. He, like many others, view solar energy as a step in the right direction from both a long-term environmental and economic standpoint. He credits the hardwork and support of ANGLEC and the Uriel Renewables, Inc. team for the successful and seamless integration of solar energy into the Anguilla community.
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