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St Eustatius Installs 1.9MW Solar Farm

st-eustatius-solar-farmCastries, St. Lucia, September 6th, 2016 – The Netherland Antilles island of St. Eustatius cemented its place in the history books as a pioneer in the use of renewables with the installation of its 1.9 MW Solar Farm. On August 30th 2016 the St. Eustatius Utility Company (STUCO), under the esteemed leadership of Mr Fred Cuvalay, CEO, held the “Inauguration of St. Eustatius 1.9 MW Solar Farm” in the island. The event was attended by Mr Thomas Hodge, Executive Director and Ms Alana Mathurin, Marketing and Member Services Manager of the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC).

Mr Hodge, who gave remarks on behalf of CARILEC and presented Mr Cuvalay with a congratulatory plaque to mark the official opening of the 1.9 MW Solar Farm, had high praises for the project.

“With the commissioning of this advanced Photovoltaic Plant, St. Eustatius has joined an elite group of nations where renewable energy contributes more than 20 percent of their energy needs, with daytime penetration levels exceeding 80 percent. We are proud of the remarkable achievement of our CARILEC member utility. This accomplishment can only be attributed to the vision and determination of STUCO and the people of St. Eustatius,” he said. According to Mr Cuvalay, the project, which will substantially reduce CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption, was commissioned by St. Eustatius because “we were looking for Fossil fuel cost reduction and at the same time for a solution with very low operations and maintenance costs.”

The solar farm which was financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economics, built by lead sub- contractor Curaçao-based Eco-energy with German sub-contractors Schletter and SMA Sunbelt Energy, is a combination of a PV farm, a battery-storage system and diesel generators which have been integrated to work together in harmony. It is projected to save St. Eustatius, whose energy supply had been previously based on diesel, a reported 25 percent in fossil fuel consumption and more than 800,000 litres of diesel fuel. Additionally, the new system will supply 23 percent of the island’s yearly electricity demand. With the help of the sun, the battery storage system and the Fuel Save Controller 2.0 by SMA, help in producing nearly a quarter of the 13.5 GWh of electricity.

Mr Cuvalay through his visionary leadership has pushed the envelope and placed St. Eustatius on the forefront of the renewable energy space, as an island of a mere 27 square kilometres in the Netherland Antilles now has a renewable energy electricity penetration of 23 percent and can go up to 89 percent. Witnessing the solar farm in its peak capacity was an iconic moment for the CARILEC team, which launched its renewable energy virtual community for utility engineers and energy practitioners called the CARILEC Renewable Energy Community (CAREC) several months ago, in order to promote discourse on energy issues, increase knowledge and build capacity as the region moves towards sustainable energy practices. CARILEC views electric utilities as the key to sustainable energy, energy security, economic competitiveness, and industrial development in the region, and continues to support its member utilities in their thrust to provide all peoples of the Caribbean with sustainable energy.


Category/ies:News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, St Lucia News.
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