Solar Farm to produce brilliant energy solutions

SKNIS Photo: Solar Panel

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 28, 2013 (SKNIS): The official groundbreaking for a 5-acre Solar Farm is a testimony to Government’s commitment to addressing the energy challenges currently faced.

This was noted by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Lenrick Lake in his welcoming remarks on Wednesday March 27, 2013 at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport. This initiative is a joint venture between the Governments of the St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

“The future of energy security will continue to occupy the agenda of the Government, the Ministry of Energy and all its partners,” Mr. Lake emphasized.

Minister with responsibility for Energy Hon Dr. Earl Asim Martin said that yesterday’s project was a clear demonstration of what can be achieved through collaboration of various agencies. This Solar project includes partnership between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, The Republic of China (Taiwan), Sugar Investment Diversification Fund (SIDF), St. Kitts Air and Sea Port Authority (SCASPA) and St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC).

SKNIS Photo: Hon. Earl Asim Martin
SKNIS Photo: Hon. Richard Skerrit
SKNIS Photo: Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas congratulates His Excellency Ambassador Tsao for his assistance

He disclosed that this project cost approximately US$2.5 million.

Minister Martin declared that the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been quite supportive of the government’s policy on renewable energy, through His Excellency Ambassador Miguel Tsao. He saluted Ambassador Tsao for his outstanding efforts and outlined the possibilities of jobs that this joint venture would offer.

“We expect from this new development a cadre of new technicians trained by the engineers who would be installing the solar panels,” Minister Martin revealed. “In other words, the creation of new jobs for our young men and women in this green economy.”

Hon. Richard Skerrit, Minister of Minister of International Transport, mentioned that this joint venture will save SCASPA in the region of US$800,000.00 annually, while reducing the debt that has accumulated. He said this debt was a result of heavy investment in infrastructure and facility, much needed for the economic development of the country.

“My job was to facilitate the ideas with regard to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis, that came from the Ambassador and to convince the Minister responsible for energy to allow SCASPA to be the primary beneficiary of this project,” Minister Skerrit noted. “And to convince the Right Hon. Prime Minister, that this should be the project that takes place along with the many other possible opportunities that this money could have been spent on.”

According to the Minister of Tourism, with this Solar Farm, SKELEC will be able to produce some of its energy at a cheaper rate. He further mentioned that it has brought SCASPA’s debt levels down, way below where anyone had actually expected.

“Today, the St. Kitts and Nevis Government once again leads by example.” said Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas.”We emphasize this afternoon that our nation’s Air and Sea Ports is now consuming some 960,000 kilo watts of energy per hour per year. And we also know that the Solar Farm being constructed here will produce 1.3 million kilo watts per hour per year.”

Prime Minister Douglas thanked the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its ongoing spirit of partnership where our Nation’s goals are concerned.

To date, St. Kitts and Nevis is the first country within the OECS to implement such a project.

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