By Dana Niland
St. Kitts and Nevis continued its renewable energy push with the presentation of a new 500 kilowatt solar farm to St. Kitts Electricity Company this week.
St Kitts already has a solar farm at its Robert L Bradshaw International Airport.
The Frigate Bay Road project, part of the government’s “Go Green” initiative, is valued at $1.55 million and is a collaborative effort between SKELEC and Taiwan.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, Posts, Urban Development and Transport, Ian Patches Liburd said that the country aims to achieve 100 percent renewably produced energy by 2020– a goal which he called “ambitious but attainable.”
He noted that while continuing studies on renewable energy sources must be conducted, the government has already introduced and passed the requisite legislation to accommodate the commercial use of wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
CEO of SKELEC Cartwright Farrell said that this project is the company’s first venture into renewable energy.
Farrell explained that the solar farm can be remotely monitored through internet connection to see the power generated in real time by the hour, by the week and by month.
“We are taking small steps with only a 500 kilowatt solar farm so that once we put that in we can consolidate our stability before we can make another step Our responsibility is to ensure a stable and reliable power system throughout the transformation of the industry,” said Farrell, while adding that a responsible energy company must “move with the times” with regard to the reduction in fossil fuels and the increase in renewable energy.
Taiwan Ambassador George Gow Wei Chiou highlighted the cooperation between the two countries called the project “another milestone” for St. Kitts and Nevis.
Chiou also noted that with 2,000 kilowatts per hour, SKELEC can save over $8 million in fossil fuel every year.