Abaco presents “ideal opportunity” for large scale solar

Abaco presents “ideal opportunity” for large scale solar
Guilden Gilbert

Gilbert: IPP built and operated plant could run parallel to Wilson City Plant

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Abaco’s restoration in the wake of Hurricane Dorian provides the “ideal opportunity” to establish a large-scale solar plant on the island to run parallel with Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) Wilson City plant, a local renewable provider has suggested.

Guilden Gilbert, vice-president of Alternative Power Sources told Eyewitness News that instead of continuing to operate exclusively with BPL there is sufficient land in Abaco to be used for large scale solar. Gilbert noted that this would have to be run parallel with the Wilson City plant to carry the base load.

“This is the ideal opportunity for The Bahamas to seriously move toward its commitment to reducing it carbon footprint,” Gilbert said.

“My suggestion would the introduction of an Independent Power Producer (IPP). The IPP build and operate a commercial-scale solar power plant to operate parallel to the BPL Wilson City power plant.

“The power produced from the solar plant could be purchased by BPL at an agreed rate under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement. This arrangement will reduce the amount of fossil fuel delivered to and used in Abaco.

“Additionally, for some nighttime offset the solar plant can include some energy storage to be discharged at night to reduce the nighttime power distributed by the Wilson City power plant.”

According to Gilbert, the existing Wilson City power plant would still be required to carry the base load, the solar would be used to support and supplement the power supply with a clean and environmentally friendly power source.

After early assessments, following Hurricane Dorian’s devastation of Abaco BPL officials said the initial budget estimate for recovery is somewhere between $25 million to $30 million.

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