Energy minister Dr. Asim Martin gives update on solar farm for airport and solar panels factory
|Senior Minister and Minister of Energy, the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin (left) and Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis look at solar panels which will be manufactured in St. Kitts at the lighting on the solar lights in St. Paul’s.|
|Solar lights at the Robert L. Bradshaw Memorial Park.|
|LED lights on the Kim Collins Highway. (Photos by Erasmus Williams)|
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 4TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Negotiations are continuing for the construction of a one-megawatt solar farm at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and a factory to manufacture solar panels on St. Kitts.
Senior Minister and Minister of Energy, the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin during a Press Briefing by members of the Cabinet said his ministry over the last 36 months has been concentrating on the matter of renewable energy.
“We are fully aware that fossil fuels cannot continue to be the main resource to generate energy in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Martin said.
“With the assistance from the Republic of China on Taiwan we have been able to install almost 250 solar and LED lights along the Kim Collins Highway, the Frigate Bay Road and also in that area between Sandy Point and the Robert L. Bradshaw Memorial Park in St. Paul’s,” said Minister Martin.
“We are in the process at the moment in negotiations with a company out of the Republic of China, Taiwan, for the construction of a solar farm at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport that would provide almost 1megawat of electricity to the Airport,” he disclosed.
He said the same Taiwan company in a matter of a couple of months would be setting up a factory for the manufacturing of solar panels.
“Solar panels would assist the Government’s overall project in terms of supplying not only our nationals here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, but expanding the sale of their solar panels regionally and internationally,” Dr. Martin said.
He said this is a good development as it will not only provide jobs for citizens in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, but it will also result in the locals being trained in the installation and in the manufacturing of solar panels.
“We think this is the right direction in which the country would want to move, in providing green energy for the people in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Martin said.
According to the energy minister, the Ministry of Energy is in discussions with the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) and the Sugar Industry Development Foundation (SIDF) with regard to the rolling out a programme that will be able to provide solar panels to customers who are presently obtaining electricity from SKELEC.
“This will do two things. Reduction in the use of energy from the national grid and giving those consumers an opportunity to sell their electricity back into the grid and in a sense generating some revenue of their own,” said Dr. Martin.
“We expect that those discussions would conclude very shortly and between SKELEC, the SIDF and the Ministry would expound on this matter in more detail as we go forward,” said the Energy Minister.