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Bright new venture for Norfolk entrepreneur in the Caribbean

Kestrel Renewables, which was formed five months ago as part of Andy Thorne’s Kestrel Liner Agencies shipping group, has just secured a number of orders for its unique “off grid” hybrid wind and solar lighting systems from clients in the Caribbean and has opened a Caribbean base.

The company is part of the Queen’s Award winning Kestrel Liner Agencies shipping group, which was started by Mr Thorne (pictured) in 1994 and has a turnover of $80m (£52m).

His experiences of working in the Caribbean gave him a clear view of the infrastructure and energy challenges facing the islands, primarily in the high financial and environmental cost of electricity production, almost all of which comes from fossil based fuels.

Kestrel Renewables’ Andrew Hogan, who runs the company from its Wells-next-the-Sea base, is hoping to employ six people from the Breckland area.

The first contract is worth about $250,000.

“The first area to be identified for change was street and security lighting, which account for one of the largest consumptions of grid electricity in the islands,” said Mr Hogan. “To this end, Kestrel Renewables developed a lighting system that doesn’t consume any mains electricity and produces all its power from the wind and the sun – two elements always constant in the Caribbean.”

To maximize logistical and sales capability in the region, Kestrel have just signed an agreement with a Barbados company, Caribbean ?LED Lighting, to assemble and distribute the Kestrel Hybrid Lighting System throughout The Caribbean basin.

He said that from the new, state-of-the-art facility in Barbados, Kestrel would be well placed to offer the level of service their customers were used to experiencing from the parent shipping company.

Mr Hogan said: “As an encouraging start to the Barbados operation, an order has just been secured from The University of the West Indies for their island campus.

“This is as a major achievement, given the lead the university has taken in embracing green technology throughout the region.” While the Caribbean is a major focus for Kestrel Renewables, the company will ?look to roll out ?their system throughout the UK and Ireland, with a distribution network currently being put in place.


Category/ies:Regional News.
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