A major installation
By Dana NIland
In May 2016, Government House in St. Lucia will showcase the country’s renewable energy transition with the installation of a 10-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, which could save the government thousands of dollars in energy expenditures over the system’s lifetime.
The project will be conducted by Solar Head of State, a non-profit organization that partners with responsible governments around the world to install free, money-saving solar power systems on each country’s executive residence.
Since 2014, St. Lucia has been a part of the Ten Island Challenge, a program to accelerate the renewable energy transition in the Caribbean spearheaded by Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, a global incubator for clean energy entrepreneurship, and the Rocky Mountain Institute, the world’s original clean energy transition think-and-do-tank.
“These efforts provide wonderful, tangible examples that solar should and does belong in the Caribbean,” said Jules Kortenhorst, Chief Executive Officer of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room.
Maya Doolub, a member of Solar Head of State’s advisory board, called for other world leaders to show personal leadership by putting solar systems on their official residences.
The organization emphasizes that by installing a system, the nation’s Head of State will demonstrate their commitment to transition away from harmful, fossil-fuel based energy infrastructure; lead by example in a call for new international climate leadership; catalyze the development of domestic renewable energy policy; show the future of sustainable jobs for the local economy; and provide a symbol of clear action following the Paris climate agreements.
Solar Head of State is already in talks with five other Caribbean governments, and hopes to officially announce the next wave of installations on executive residences shortly.
St. Lucia’s Governor General’s residence is a historic Victorian building at Morne Fortune on the outskirts of the capital city of Castries, and houses the Le Pavillon Royal Museum, which documents state history from the early 17th century.
The solar PV panels for the St. Lucia Solar Head of State project are being donated by Trina Solar, of which the founder, Jifan Gao, is a leading figure in Taiwan’s growing solar industry.