Determined to shift away from fossil fuels, the island nation of Saint Lucia is turning to solar energy for electricity generation, with a contract signed between electric utility St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) and Spanish engineering group Grupotec for a 3 MW solar project, located north of the Hewanorra International Airport at La Tourney, Vieux Fort.
Given the fact that diesel-powered generators currently account for over 99% of the island’s electricity generation, the 3 MW project is expected to pave the way for the country’s energy transition process, tapping into its abundant solar potential.
“We see this as the first major practical step in Saint Lucia’s energy transition process towards a more secure and sustainable energy supply, and LUCELEC is pleased to help make that happen,” said LUCELEC’s Managing Director Trevor Louisy.
The agreement has not only revealed the EPC developer on the island’s largest ever renewable energy project, but also signaled the country’s resolve to pursue the National Energy Transition Strategy, developed last year by LUCELEC and the Government of Saint Lucia.
“The solar project in La Tourney aligns well with the Government’s renewable energy targets and with the National Energy Transition Strategy produced last year,” said Minister Stephenson King, Minister of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour.
The procurement process for LUCELEC’s solar farm was facilitated with technical support from non-profit partners Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, and Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room (RMI-CWR), alongside global energy and engineering advisory firm DNV GL.
The project is expected to break ground by the end of September 2017, with construction penciled in for completion by spring of 2018.