A Tennessee-based company may soon move to set up a solar farm on Anegada as Government look to use that island as a major pilot project for renewable energy in the Territory, BVI Platinum News reports. This recent development was announced by Hon. Dr. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour. [We thank Colleen Cohen for bringing this item to our attention.]
Speaking at the official launch of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s (HLSCC) pilot solar project on Thursday, June 7, Hon. Pickering said the BVI has the opportunity to use Anegada for a major pilot project and the Tennessee company has already done its research.
“…We have an energy company based somewhere in Tennessee who is looking at setting up a solar farm on Anegada. They have done all the research; look at the footprint that is necessary and are likely to move forward to setting up a solar plant on Anegada that will be able to generate more than sufficient energy for Anegada as a community,” he disclosed.
The Minister, who had previously stated recommended that Anegada be used as a case study, said Anegada has a closed system which means it has its own power plant.
“What is exciting about Anegada is that the energy that is generated can easily be transferred to the grid without having too many difficult issues, so if we can perfect that system on Anegada, we actually reduce the need for a power plant on Anegada significantly.”
He added, “…We can learn from that system and then modify the system in ways which makes it adaptable to all the other islands and ultimately for the BVI at large. So that is another opportunity to have a pilot project on a much larger scale so we can eventually reduce our dependency on fossil fuel.”
In February, Hon. Pickering suggested a phased approach to the introduction of renewable energy in the Virgin Islands by firstly powering up the entire Anegada island before making it available to other islands in the Territory.
Speaking at the Greening the Economy; Sustainable Development Seminar, Minister Pickering had stated that the cost of electricity and gas continue to rise and energy security remains a serious issue for the islands.
“I want to introduce a concept at this point in time; something that I sincerely believe is a winner for the BVI…that we use Anegada as a case study for renewable energy. Anegada is very fragile ecosystem and it has a small and dynamic population, but we can use Anegada by setting up whether we use solar energy or whether we use wind or wave energy. We can use Anegada as a case study to see what really it will cost to use a form of renewable energy to produce whatever needs that community may have,” Minister Pickering stated at the time.
The Minister had explained that once renewable energy is introduced on Anegada, information collected based on the study will be used to determine if renewable energy is a winner for the rest of the BVI.
For the study, the Minister envisioned replacing the entire amount of electricity supplied by the BVI Electricity Corporation to Anegada with renewable energy. He said that modifications based on the study will enable the introduction of renewable energy to other islands.
During his visit to the Territory this year, Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, MP seemed baffled that Caribbean countries that have access to wind and sun are importing so much fuel to meet their energy needs. Minister Bellingham spoke about renewable energy and the need for Territories to focus on food security.
“It seems to be crazy that countries in the Caribbean which are well endowed in sun and wind are importing so much fuel and it also seems to me that food security has been forgotten. In the past, going back many years, most countries in the Caribbean were sustainable in terms of production of food…that has now been forgotten about and most countries now import a great deal of food,” Minister Bellingham stated.
He added that as living standards increase, people want to import some exotic foods, but food security is a big issue.
“I spoke about that with the Premier and I think there are some really good ideas for diversifying the economy here,” Minister Bellingham had stated
For the original report go to http://www.bviplatinum.com/news.php?page=Article&articleID=1339246626