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US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam Add Solar Panels


st-thomas-solar-panels-667_optVisitors landing on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands will notice a 1,600-foot-long array of ground-mounted SolarWorld solar panels paralleling a runway at Cyril E. King Airport.

The 450 kilowatt (kW) system, to be unveiled tomorrow, 14 September, is prominent among a recent series of SolarWorld solar panel installations to mitigate high power rates on US island territories.

These island territories are heavily reliant on burning imported oil products to generate power. They are using SolarWorld technology to tap their own plentiful energy resource to produce clean electricity and avoid power prices ranging around US 40 cents (¢) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared with the US national average of 9.7¢.

• St. Thomas: Employees of SolarWorld partner installer OneWorld Sustainable of Lexington, Georgia worked to install the 1,806 panels at the Caribbean airfield side-by-side with students from the University of the Virgin Islands who were seeking hands-on training, said Tim Blackwell, president and chief executive officer of OneWorld Sustainable.

• American Samoa: As a step in cutting American Samoa’s reliance on burning No. 2 diesel oil for power generation, 17 buildings on the island will soon generate electricity using SolarWorld solar panels. SolarWorld will supply 350kW of solar panels to be installed on 10 schools and seven government buildings on this US territory in the South Pacific. The project, to be installed by Island Energy and Marine of Pago-Pago, Samoa, comes on the heels of a 680kW installation using SolarWorld panels on 24 buildings. Funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), the buildings included 10 commercial, 12 government and two non-profit organization buildings.

• Guam: On the US western Pacific territory of Guam, records for solar system size seem to fall every few months. Scott Hagen of Pacific Solar and Photovoltaic completed a 24.84kW installation on a library at Guam Community College late in 2010, then commissioned a 29.4kW system on a college health education building in May 2011.

SolarWorld’s US manufacturing is a key selling feature to his customers, Hagen said. They want to contribute to the American economy.



Category/ies:Regional News.
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