Basseterre, St. Kitts, Nov 2, 2023 (ZIZ Newsroom): St. Kitts and Nevis has joined CARICOM member states in observing Energy Month 2023 throughout the month of November.
In an address to mark the start of Energy Month, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Energy, Utilities and Domestic Transport Hon. Konris Maynard said the ministries under his purview in collaboration with SKELEC, NEVLEC and other stakeholders will take part in the observance.
The theme for this year is “Accelerating Innovation, Driving Electrification.”
Minister Maynard said the theme aligns with the government’s objectives for a sustainable island state.
“At its core, this theme emphasizes the pivotal role innovation plays in propelling our energy landscape forward,” he said. “Accelerating innovation signifies our commitment to adopting cutting edge technologies and novel solutions that will transform how we generate, distribute, and consume energy simultaneously. Driving electrification underscores our dedication to in the electrification of various sectors, such as transportation, energy and households. In particular, the theme aligns harmoniously with our aspirations for electric mobility and the seamless integration of electric vehicles into our everyday lives. St, Kitts and Nevis is charting a visionary course towards a sustainable future, and this theme aligns seamlessly with our national objectives.”
The Energy Minister said the government has recognized the need for a transition to cleaner and more reliable sources of energy, noting the move toward geothermal, solar and wind energy.
He outlined the advantages of electric mobility in the federation, noting, “The value to be gained from introducing electric mobility is becoming increasingly prevalent. Electric vehicles capitalize on our small size and greatly reduce our vulnerability to fluctuating gas prices. By accelerating innovation, we aim to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, mitigate the impacts of climate change and create new opportunities for economic growth and development. Our commitment to this theme is exemplified through numerous ongoing energy projects firmly establishing our federation among the leaders in sustainable energy solutions.”
Minister Maynard outlined ongoing energy projects being undertaken.
“Currently, our renewable energy landscape includes a 1 MW solar PV farm with battery storage at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank ECCB, a 0.5 megawatt solar farm in the vicinity of the ECCB roundabout, which is currently being recommissioned, a 00:25 megawatt solar farm at the biomedical research lab in St. Kitts and a 2.2 megawatt wind farm in Madden’s, Nevis. There are also several residential and commercial premises with rooftop solar PV.”
He said, “Looking ahead, we are on the cusp of transformative change. A groundbreaking nine megawatt geothermal plant in Nevis is expected to commence drilling operations in the upcoming year, with significant scope for major upscaling to 30 beyond in St. Kitts, we are at advanced stages of negotiation for a 35 megawatt solar PV plant with battery storage, which would produce near 30% of the Skelec energy demand.”
Throughout the month, several activities will be held in commemoration of Energy Month 2023.
These include a media tour, church service, school engagement, a stem quiz competition, a high school tour of the ECCB solar farm, an energy fair at independence square an L.E.D glow walk and an energy conference.
November 5th to 11th has been Dubbed Energy awareness week dubbed unplug me week.