PM breaks ground on new solar parking lot at OPM

PM breaks ground on new solar parking lot at OPM

Third government-owned building to be retrofitted with renewable energy components

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday broke ground on the site of a 500kW solar covered parking lot at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday

This will be the third government-owned building to be retrofitted with renewable energy and energy-efficiency components, following a solar car park at Thomas A Robinson Stadium that was opened last March and the installation of solar panels at Anatol Rodgers High School.

The solar car park at OPM is the first one to be fully funded by the government of The Bahamas, according to Minnis.

“The vision for renewable energy in The Bahamas is clear,” said the prime minister. “It is to deliver world-class renewable energy technology at an affordable rate, to meet the needs of a developing 21st Century Bahamas.”

Grand Bahama-based company B and H Construction has been given the contract to install the solar car park at OPM.

Minnis noted that while The Bahamas contributes very little to the emission of greenhouse gases, which fuels climate change, it is extremely vulnerable to its effects.

“Today, in a world where access to climate financing is increasingly rare, The Bahamas is showing the world that even the smallest of countries can make a big difference,” he said.

He also noted that because of the tremendous physical infrastructure owned and operated by the government, the transition of government facilities to renewable energy is vital and “will play a leading role in the country’s transformation to renewable energy”.

Last month, the Ministry of the Environment and Housing reopened a Request for Qualifications for the installation of roof-mounted solar panels at T G Glover Primary School, with battery storage. Once completed, the school is expected to be able to function as a full hurricane shelter with available electricity during power outages, according to the government.

“We are making remarkable progress in our efforts to incorporate solar power generation into the Ragged Island electricity grid to make Ragged Island the first green-smart island in The Bahamas,” Minnis said yesterday.

The system is currently in the commissioning phase and is expected to go online at the end of the month, he added.