Solar power met 45% of demand on Caribbean island of St Eustatius last year

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The Dutch island of Sint Eustatius, in the Caribbean, had almost half its power supplied by a solar-plus-storage project last year.

According to the Netherlands’ Central Agency for Statistics (CBS), of the 14.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed by the island in 2018, around 6.5 million were provided by a 4.1 MW solar park coupled with 5.9 MW of storage which was commissioned in late 2017.

“During the day the solar park meets the entire electricity requirement while diesel generators take care of the electricity production in the evening and night,” said the CBS. If the daytime conditions are not favorable, for example with a lot of clouds, the system automatically switches to the diesel generators that take over production.”

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The authority added that on the Caribbean island and Dutch territory of Saba, where two small solar parks with a total generation capacity of 2.1 MW linked to storage are operational, renewables provided around 1.5 million kilowatts of the 9 million needed last year, covering around 16% of demand.

The third island in the Netherlands Antilles chain, Bonaire, saw its wind power plants help renewables meet around 32.8% of power demand last year. The three islands combined had clean energy provide around a third of their energy needs last year.

The three islands became special municipalities of the Netherlands in 2017.