By Dana Niland
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, former President Figueres of Costa Rica and the Rocky Mountain Institute have officially opened a major new three-megawatt solar farm in Saint Lucia.
The Vieux Fort-area renewable energy project, the first of its kind in Saint Lucia, was made possible through technical assistance from RMI and the Clinton Climate Initiative.
“We live in an interdependent world. No one caused climate change alone. No one caused the sea levels to rise alone—and no one will fix it alone,” Clinton said. “This is the beginning of a comprehensive, determined, unrelenting effort to make Saint Lucia, and all island nations of the Caribbean, stronger, safer and more sustainable.”
The solar farm builds on the work LUCELEC has been doing since 2009 with grid-tied rooftop solar photovoltaic systems.
It is expected to provide the impetus for more renewable energy initiatives and help change Saint Lucia’s energy landscape.
Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited’s solar farm is the product of collaborative international cooperation from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors.
“I know that this renewable energy project will be a great success and it represents a new promise and a new model that I hope to see replicated in the future,” Chastanet said. “We remain very optimistic about the future of the development of the electricity sector and as a Government we are committed to projects such as these which are the key to facing the climate challenge that small islands like ours face.”
The $20 million project is set just north of Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport.
It is expected to generate around 7 million kWhs of electricity every year, or about five percent of Saint Lucia’s annual electricity demand.