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Elecrticity Consumers Already Benefitting From Solar Energy Farm

Electricity consumers have already begun to benefit from the operationalization of the solar energy farm, a SKELEC official says.


“There will be less carbon in the air and that is better for the environment. By getting electricity from this renewable energy source we would be able to buy less diesel and that is a good thing,” Gawain Fraites, SKELEC PRO said.


“And by less fuel it would mean, in a way, we would be paying less fuel surcharge.”


Last week government officials and members of the Taiwanese Diplomatic Mission turned on the switch the 1megawatt renewable energy plant at the RL Bradshaw International Airport. The solar farm was designed and constructed by locally-based Taiwanese company Speedtech Energy Company Ltd to provide electricity to SCASPA’s facilities.


Fraites explained that the solar farm now feeding electricity directly into the national grid SKELEC would be able to purchase less fossil based fuel. A meter will be installed to monitor how much energy was fed into the grid from the SCASPA solar farm and with live links to the farm SKELEC could tell how much energy was being produced each day, he said.


With an average of 6 hours of sunlight each day the solar farm could generate 1249 megawatt hours (MWh) of power annually.
The control tower, ports and other SCASPA facilities would still however be connected to the SKELEC grid, he said.


“The power from the solar farm is fed into the grid so it’s not like SCASPA is connected to the solar farm. That power that is produced by the solar panels is being used by all consumers. So if SCASPA uses 20 kilowatts and it’s putting in 18 then they will only be paying SKELEC for 2 kilowatts,” Fraites said.


The rate of pay for those additional kilowatts is currently being worked out, he said. “This feed in tariff is what is being discussed right now.”


SKELEC would still be generating the same amount of electricity as before even with the solar farm feeding into the national grid, Fraites explained, in case for any reason the solar farm could not produce the anticipated amount.


“Say for instance we have extended periods of cloudy or stormy weather and there’s not much sunshine, we still have to produce that 22 kilowatts of power. If we went down to producing 21 kilowatts we would not be able to jump back up to 22 in a few minutes in order to fulfill consumer demand.”


The novelty of the situation requires careful monitoring and assessing, Fraites said, but he was confident a smooth and efficient transition will be made to facilitate the inclusion of renewable energy.



Category/ies:News, St Kitts and Nevis News.
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