Mayreau Microgrid Project Kicks Off
Kingstown, Saint Vincent – April 11, 2018 – On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC), the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Energy Unit, and EcoEnergy, N.V., kicked off the Mayreau microgrid project during the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) meeting in Kingstown.
The meeting is the first step to constructing VINLEC’s first solar-and-battery storage project, which will provide a model for the eastern Caribbean region, where diesel-powered generators account for over 90% of electricity generation. In the wake of the 2017 hurricane season, this project will utilize advanced techniques to protect the installation against Category 5 hurricanes.
“Mayreau is a very small island and everything you need on the island has to be transported from St. Vincent or Union Island—it’s always been our ambition to reduce the cost of operation on Mayreau,” said Thornley Meyers, VINLEC’s CEO. “Three years ago, we approached our board with a project to produce renewable energy on the island, to reduce the carbon footprint and naturally to reduce our cost.”
When connected to the Mayreau power system, the project will provide cost reductions, energy security, and resiliency to climate impacts. The solar and battery project will minimize the use of diesel for the generation of electricity. The project will silence the diesel generators for six to 10 hours per day. This will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise for the small island community and its residents.
“Most of the islands in the Grenadines are fully dependent on fossil fuel including Mayreau, Canouan, Union Island—and the broader concept was to look at these islands and see how to make them renewable with solar, wind, and battery storage,” said Ellsworth Dacon, Director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Energy Unit.
“The benefits of the Mayreau microgrid project will be felt well beyond the shores of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Owen Lewis, Project Manager at Mountain Institute (RMI). “RMI will leverage the success of the project for regional impact, sharing the lessons learned and experience from Mayreau to advance renewable energy implementation on other islands,”
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines project support provided by RMI is made possible by the support of the Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation and the Global Environment Facility in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.
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