LA TOURNEY, Saint Lucia/ August 10, 2018 (STL.News)
Today, President Bill Clinton, Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, and former President Figueres of Costa Rica and Board of Trustees for Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) officially opened the 3 megawatt (MW) solar farm of the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) in La Tourney, Vieux Fort.
The utility-scale renewable energy project, the first of its kind in Saint Lucia, was made possible through technical assistance from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) which has received financial support from the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
“Today I applaud those who made this solar park into a reality – LUCELEC and the government – by working together are setting an example for other islands. Collaborating to solve your countries energy future is what we all should be doing,” said President Figueres.
“We live in an interdependent world. No one caused climate change alone. No one caused the sea levels to rise alone—and no one will fix it alone,” said President Clinton. “This is the beginning of a comprehensive, determined, unrelenting effort to make Saint Lucia, and all island nations of the Caribbean, stronger, safer and more sustainable.”
“I know that this renewable energy project will be a great success and it represents a new promise and a new model that I hope to see replicated in the future,” said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. “We remain very optimistic about the future of the development of the electricity sector and as a Government we are committed to projects such as these which are the key to facing the climate challenge that small islands like ours face. I congratulate LUCELEC on spearheading this project and we continue to be thankful for the support of the Rocky Mountain Institute and all who were involved in its successful implementation.”
On Thursday, President Clinton, Prime Minister Chastanet, and President Figueres were joined by Saint Lucia Governor General H.E. Sir Neville Cenac, Saint Lucia Minister for Energy Stephenson King, and officials from LUCELEC.
The solar farm builds on the work LUCELEC has been doing with grid-tied rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems since 2009. It is expected to provide the impetus for more renewable energy initiatives and change St. Lucia’s energy landscape:
The EC$20 million project, located north of Hewanorra International Airport, is funded, owned and operated by LUCELEC.
Construction of the solar farm began in November 2017, and the solar farm began feeding the grid in April this year when the entire 3 MW of alternating current (AC) power came online.
The solar farm’s nearly 15,000 panels, totaling 3.95 MW direct current (DC) installed power, will generate approximately 7 million kWhs (or units) of electricity per year.
The solar farm meets about 5 percent of St. Lucia’s peak electricity demand and will reduce the volume of fuel purchased by LUCELEC by about 300 thousand imperial gallons per year. LUCELEC uses approximately 20 million imperial gallons of fuel per year.
The solar farm is the product of collaborative international cooperation from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors:
GRUPOTEC, an international firm with extensive, worldwide experience in developing solar plants undertook the engineering, procurement, and construction of the solar farm.
Rocky Mountain Institute with global energy and engineering advisory firm DNV GL led project development, and supported bid evaluation and contract negotiations for the project.
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Media inquiries please contact:
Nick Steel, Senior Media Associate, T: +1 347.574.0887, E: nsteel(at)rmi.org.
Alexandra Chin, Media Associate, T: +1 973.262.0002, E: achin(at)rmi.org
Notes to Editor:
About the Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent non-profit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. In 2014, RMI merged with Carbon War Room (CWR), whose business-led market interventions advance a low-carbon economy. The combined organization has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) is the only commercial generator, transmitter, distributor and seller of electrical energy in St. Lucia. Established in 1964, the Company went public in 1994 and its shares are traded on the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange. LUCELEC has developed a reputation in the OECS and the wider Caribbean as an extremely well-run, world-class utility. In Saint Lucia, LUCELEC is without a doubt regarded as a best practice (model) company with a strong emphasis on customer service, innovation, employee development and social and economic development.