BASSETERRE: Cartwright Farrell, chief executive officer of the St. Kitts Electricity Corporation (SKELEC), has announced that two new solar farms will be established on St. Kitts.
Farrell said renewable energy – mainly solar, wind and the possibility of geothermal energy exploration – is an important component of energy conservation and maintaining energy efficiency.
He said the federal government has previously installed solar PV (photovoltaics) panels on the rooftop of government headquarters in Basseterre to provide its own power needs.
“Government also installed a 750KW solar farm at the Robert L. Bradshaw Airport that provides about 3,000 KWh (kilowatt hour) per day,” said Farrell. “This solar farm was developed in a partnership involving the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority, the government of Taiwan and the government of St. Kitts & Nevis.”
He said in the near future, St. Kitts & Nevis will commission another solar farm of 500KW in a partnership involving SKELEC, the government of Taiwan and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis, putting over 2,000 kWh per day into the grid.
“That will save over 40,000 gallons of diesel per year over the lifetime of the project and save SKELEC over EC$8 million in diesel savings,” said Farrell.
He said that the second solar farm of 1MW will be established through a second 500MW phase at St. Paul’s, with over 4,000 kWh of power into the grid daily.
“In the development plans of most of the significant developments on St. Kitts the use of renewable energy is stressed,” said Farrell. “All of these developments have committed to include some level of renewable energy input into their energy needs. We welcome this at SKELEC and we intend to assist and facilitate all of these developers where possible.”
He said the federal government showed its commitment by first moving to fluorescent street lighting on the Kim Collins Highway and part of Frigate Bay Road, solar street lighting between Newton Ground and St. Paul’s and then as technology improved the move has been to LED street lighting.
Farrell said from now on, all new streetlights installed in St. Kitts from now on will be LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights.
“LED lighting that uses 20 per cent of the energy consumed by traditional lighting is now also available to the householder,” he said. “The current project to outfit every home in the federation with LED lighting is testament to the fact that a serious effort is being made to make energy efficiency a household mantra.”
Farrell said the federal government is not only taking the lead in energy efficiency, but it is also giving citizens the first leg up towards doing the same.
“In effect the government is not only finding answers and saying well go forth and do this, but they are going even further by saying let us do this together,” he said.