Hurricane-resistant hybrid solar plant inaugurated on Antigua and Barbuda


A hybrid solar park developed and implemented by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. (Masdar) is now operational in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

The Green Barbuda project is a hybrid solar, batteries and back-up diesel project, featuring a hybrid PV plant with 720 kWp of solar panels connected to a 863 kWh battery.

It is capable of fully meeting the island’s current daytime energy demand. It will contribute to the nation’s goal of meeting 86% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030, while enabling Barbuda to reduce annual diesel fuel consumption by 406,000 liters and cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 1 million kg.

In the wake of the 2017 Hurricane Irma, which destroyed 95% of Barbuda, the climate resistant plant has been designed to survive high winds.

“The Green Barbuda electricity project has been a truly transformative one for Barbuda. It harnesses our indigenous renewable energy resources and has provided for the transfer of cutting-edge technologies as well as capacity building at the local level to manage the project,” said Prime Minister Gaston Browne. “The project supports Antigua and Barbuda’s efforts to reduce its dependence on costly and volatile imported petroleum fuels and to develop our own renewable energy resources. At the same time, it also enables us in both adapting to and mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.”

Fully financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the power station was developed under the $50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, a partnership between AE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ADFD, and Masdar.

ADFD Director General HE Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, said the project took into consideration the country’s high dependence on fossil fuel imports for energy needs despite having the potential to exploit its solar, wind and geothermal power. “This initiative highlights the extraordinary capability of clean energy to drive socioeconomic development,” he said.

The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund is aiming to deploy renewable energy projects across 16 Caribbean countries to reduce energy costs, increase energy access and enhance climate resilience. Projects have already been successfully launched in the Bahamas, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Masdar recently announced financial close on a 1.8 GW phase of the world’s largest solar project, located in the UAE. The company claims to have more than 20 GW of capacity including operational, under construction or advanced development projects in its worldwide portfolio and has set the target of reaching 100 GW by 2030.

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