…New Solar Polar Plant to be constructed
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Government is currently working to make St. Kitts and Nevis one of the most green economies in the region, with a thrust for renewable projects and reducing the dependency on fossil fuel.
This was confirmed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure and Utilities, Eugene Hamilton, when he addressed a ceremony to launch a new SOLEC Leclanché Solar Farm along Wellington Road outside SKELEC’s office.
“My Ministry and SKELEC are at an advanced stage of negotiation for a wind farm to support what we are doing here today. And we are still actively pursuing the development of Geothermal Energy, and a waste to energy facility which are all part of the goal to attain 100 percent fossil fuel-free energy production,” Hamilton disclosed.
The new $75M project, which will get underway shortly and be completed by next year, is expected to provide 18 megawatts of energy to the grid for SKELEC between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
According to the Minister, that would form approximately 25-30 percent of the island’s energy needs.
Hamilton also noted that it would assist in reducing the cost for consumers due to the lack of tariffs on fuel, contributing to stable production cost of the power.
“The cost of electricity will be fixed with the life of the plant,” the Minister told the gathering on Wednesday (Jun. 15) evening.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris underscored the importance of the farm and highlighted that it speaks volumes to his Government’s push for renewable energy for a Green Economy.
“Today we can speak about making progress in the arena of alternative energy, and you hear from the outline that it is not just about the solar plant - important as it is - in the forward thrust, in the strengthening of the country, as part of the delivery of the stronger, safer future, reducing our vulnerability to fossil fuel,” Dr. Harris said.
The Government’s push for renewable energy will assist in reducing the cost and dependency for SKELEC on purchasing fuel as the cost fluctuates over time.
With uncertainties over how long the war in Ukraine will last, it will continue to affect the price of fuel on the world market.
“We are pleased that we can look to the future in the context of the present reality that energy costs are escalating everywhere, largely as a result of externalities – an important one being the war between Ukraine and Russia – and the disruption or the exacerbating of the supply chain issues relating to the movement of goods and services elsewhere!” exclaimed Dr. Harris.
Leclanché is also constructing a battery solar farm along the Kim Collins Highway, where that is expected to generate approximately 25-35 megawatts of power to the island.