Construction Of Largest Solar Farm In The Caribbean Signals St. Kitts And Nevis’ Commitment To Renewable Energy
Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 10, 2020 (SKNIS): The construction of the largest solar farm in the Caribbean, which is expected to be completed within 12-18 months in St. Kitts and Nevis, forms part of the Government’s sustainable development agenda to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and signals the country’s commitment to renewable energy.
Speaking at the official ground-breaking ceremony of the Basseterre Valley Solar and Storage Project on Thursday, December 10, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, Utilities et al., the Honourable Shawn Richards, dubbed the event a “significant milestone” in St. Kitts and Nevis’ journey to produce “100 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable resources.”
“This solar farm represents a giant leap in our endeavour to become an island nation with a sustainable energy sector where reliable, renewable, clean and affordable energy services are provided to all its citizens, where energy, efficiency and the replacement of fossil fuels energy by renewable services will be promoted in all sectors of the economy,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richards.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards said when the farm is completed “it will have a capacity of 34 megawatts and 45 megawatts hours of energy storage, making it the largest solar generation plus energy storage project in the Caribbean.” The farm is also expected to “supply up to 18 megawatts of power to the grid between the hours 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. which is approximate 25-30 percent of the island’s electricity needs,” he added.
Upon successful completion of the farm, several benefits will be provided to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The project will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the Federation, thus assisting in meeting our obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. The project will also reduce our exposure to unpredictable fossil fuel prices and simplify the process of long term financial planning for SKELEC,” said the deputy prime minister. “It will also make an increase in electricity tariff less likely and employ locals as already has been done.”
In September 2019, the Federal Government, in collaboration with The St. Kitts Electricity Company Limited (SKELEC), signed an agreement with Leclanché SA – one of the world’s leading energy storage companies based in Switzerland to construct the largest solar generation and energy storage project in the Caribbean.
The 70 million dollars micro-grid project will be built by Leclanché on 100 acres of crown land located in the Royal Basseterre Valley National Park utilizing a lease agreement. The plant will be constructed close to the SKELEC’s Power Station to facilitate the cost-effective transfer of energy.