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USVI harnesses solar energy

Visitors landing on St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands will notice a 1,600-foot-long array of ground-mounted solar panels paralleling a runway at Cyril E. King Airport. The 450-kilowatt system, to be unveiled on Wednesday, is prominent among a recent series of high-performance SolarWorld solar panel installations to counter high power rates on US island territories.

These sun-washed islands, heavily reliant on burning imported oil products to generate power, are using SolarWorld technology to tap their own plentiful energy resource to produce clean electricity and avoid power prices ranging around 40 cents a kilowatt-hour, compared with the national average of 9.7 cents. SolarWorld, the largest US solar panel producer for more than 35 years, began supplying US-centric islands around 1980.

“Tropical islands may be the stuff of fantasy,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, “but the reality of island electricity rates is driving strong adoption of SolarWorld panels as an effective form of rate relief.”

Employees of SolarWorld partner installer OneWorld Sustainable worked to install the 1,806 panels at the Caribbean airport side-by-side with students from the University of the Virgin Islands who were seeking hands-on training, said Tim Blackwell, president and CEO of OneWorld Sustainable.



Source: Caribbean News Now

Category/ies:Regional News.
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