Sunny days

June 11, 2012

News I like

Solar panel unveiled at HLSCC

The first solar panel to be installed at a public facility is unveiled on Thursday 7 June at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in the BVI.

It’s been a good couple of days for advocates of alternative energy in the Virgin Islands. First, we heard that the U.S. Virgin Islands will be getting an 18 megawatt solar generation system — enough to generate about 15% of the territory’s peak load. The solar array sites will be split between St. Croix and St. Thomas.

The announcement came just a few months after the U.S. Virgin Islands Government announced an ambitious, multi-sector approach to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. It also comes in the wake of the closure of the HOVENSA oil refinery on St. Croix, and an end to reduced fuel prices for energy generation provided by HOVENSA for decades.

Over in the British Virgin Islands, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College unveiled a new, back-up solar panel, the first ever to be installed on a public facility in the BVI. The system is small and is designed only to provide back-up power, but it is a step in the right direction and the college has pledged to develop a training programme to develop technicians who will be able to service solar power systems in the future. The system will also allow the electric utility to test grid tie systems.

At the unveiling ceremony, BVI leaders pledged their support for alternative energy. Among other things, ministers announced that the BVI would reduce its energy consumption by 30% over the next 3 years and that the government would introduce incentives to businesses and residents who wish to install alternative energy systems. It was wonderful to hear the commitment being voiced and I know I am not alone in looking forward to action.

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About Susanna

Susanna is a Tennessee native transplanted to the BVI, and the author of Moon Handbooks Virgin Islands.

View all posts by Susanna

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