From all indications the Territory’s solar energy project seems to be taking shape. This was confirmed by Leroy Abraham, General Manager of BVIEC on 22 September at the opening ceremony for the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation’s (CARILEC) 2014 Renewable Energy and Regulatory Forum held at Maria’s By the Sea.
Mr. Abrahams announced that over 10 companies from across the globe have expressed interest for the installation of a solar system to deliver approximately 2 megawatts of power at five locations in the Territory. He also stated that contracts will be signed by February of next year.
“To demonstrate that the BVIEC is not just paying lip-service to this issue, I am pleased to publicly announce that in collaboration with the Government of the Virgin Islands, a Request for Proposal has been issued for the installation of approximately 2 megawatts of solar pv at various Government and Statutory bodies,” Abraham told the gathering.
The announcement of the BVIEC General Manager came a day after Minister For Communications And Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool stated that requests for Proposals or RFPs are being developed to replace all Territorial street lights with a combination of LEDs and solar.
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering at last year’s Farmers’ Week opening ceremony announced that efforts are being made to have a solar farm on the sister island of Anegada.
On 1 February 2013, the Deputy Premier announced that within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour a survey of some government land in Anegada had been conducted with the possibility of setting up a solar farm.
The Deputy Premier disclosed that experts have noted that 16-20 acres of a solar farm can provide the Virgin Islands with about 50-60% of all its electricity needs. Therefore, he said that the solar farm at Anegada offered the possibility of generating electricity for the Virgin Islands at a “much, much cheaper rate” than it is currently being produced.