$4 million solar project to cut power generation cost by $350k

$4 million solar project to cut power generation cost by $350k
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis officially opened a 925- kilowatt solar plant facility at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Monday. The facility, the largest of its kind in The Bahamas, is expected to replace the equivalent of 310,000 gallons of diesel annually, and will also serve as a carport with electric vehicle charging stations. It was made possible by a grant from the Government of the United Arab Emirates, through the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund. BIS photo by Yontalay Bowe.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A partnership forged between the government of The Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made way for a multi-million dollar solarized project at the Thomas A. Robinson National stadium parking lot, which is expected to save the public purse thousands of dollars in power generation.

The 925-kilowatt grid-tied solar system will displace 310 thousand litres of diesel fuel annually, which will save the island $350 thousand dollars and offset 856 tons of carbon emissions annually.

The lot has 324 parking stations and an additional two electrical car charge ports for electrical vehicles.

It also debuts the country’s first Expecting Mothers and Families parking slots.

It’s a $4 million project which is funded by the UAE Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund.

The agreement between both countries, to construct the mega-solar project, was signed back in 2017.

Construction began in November 2018.

Abdallah Al Matrooshi said the project is just the beginning of positioning the country where it needs to be to achieve its Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals.

“Both the UAE and The Bahamas share a common vision and mutual understanding of the important role renewable energy plays in accelerating sustainable development and bringing tangible benefits to local communities,” he said.

“As the country’s first large-scale solar energy plant; the project will help to secure the nation’s energy supply in a sustainable environmentally friendly way for the years ahead.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis noted that the project is just the beginning on a list of solar projects to be rolled out in the country.

Dr. Minnis revealed Monday that the Anatol Rodgers and T.G. Glover schools will soon have roof-mounted solar panels; while the prime minister’s office is set to have ground-mounted solar panels as well.

He noted that the solarized efforts will soon extend to the family islands as well.

“We are making progress in our efforts to incorporate solar power generation into the Ragged Island electricity grid,” the prime minister said.

“This will make that island the first Green Smart island in the country.

“A techno-economic modelling for the island’s electric grid has been conducted. The proposed solar array and battery storage system is projected to provide 95 per cent of the island’s electrical needs.”

Romauld Ferriera, Minister of Housing and The Environment, hailed the project as a step in the right direct toward decreasing the country’s carbon footprint.

“This is part of a broader strategy to lower the cost of electricity and provide for greater energy security,” he said.

“This project, along with the proposed installation of utility grids solar in Grand Bahama, demonstrates the resolve of this government to bring this to fruition.

“This is only the beginning; the first of a number of proposed renewable energy installation across The Bahamas.”

The solar car park is expected to provide power to the surrounding area; lightening the load of power generation derived from Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).