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Bill Shorten Outlines Renewable Energy Policies In Canberra

St. Lucia Opens First Solar Farm

Aug. 20, 2018
The Rocky Mountain Institute provided technical assistance for a 3 mW utility-scale solar farm, which is funded, owned and operated by St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited,

St. Lucia will now be able to capture even more energy from the sun. The Rocky Mountain Institute provided technical assistance for a 3 mW utility-scale solar farm, which is funded, owned and operated by St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC). 

Since 2009, LUCELEC has been involved with grid-tied rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The new solar farm will provide a path for more renewable energy initiatives and is said to change St. Lucia's energy landscape in the future. 

The EC$20 million project, which is funded, owned and operated by LUCELEC, is located north of Hewanorra International Airport. GRUPOTEC, an international firm with experience in developing solar plants, undertook the engineering, procurement and construction of the solar farm. Rocky Mountain Institute with global energy and engineering advisory firm, DNV GL, led project development and supported bid evaluation and contract negotiations for the project. 

In November 2017, construction began on the solar farm, and in April, the solar farm came online. With 15,000 panels, the solar farm will generate about 7 million kWhs per year, which meets about 5 percent of St. Lucia's peak electricity demand. The 3.95 mW of installed power will reduce the volume of fuel purchased by LUCELEC by about 300,000 imperial gallons per year. 

Recently, President Bill Clinton, Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, and former President Figueres of Costa Rica and Board of Trustees for Rocky Mountain Institute officially opened the solar farm in La Tourney, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia. They were joined by Saint Lucia Governor General H.E. Sir Neville Cenac, Saint Lucia Minister for Energy Stephenson King and officials from LUCELEC.

The solar farm is the product of collaborative international cooperation from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. For example, the farm received financial support from the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. Figueres says the partnership between LUCELEC and the government in St. Lucia sets an example for other islands. 

"Collaborating to solve your country's energy future is what we all should be doing,” said President Figueres.

 President Clinton added that the world is interdependent, and non one caused climate change alone or caused the sea levels to rise alone. As such, he said no one will fix it alone. 

 “This is the beginning of a comprehensive, determined, unrelenting effort to make Saint Lucia, and all island nations of the Caribbean, stronger, safer and more sustainable," he says. 

 Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says the renewable energy project represents a new promise and a new model he hopes to see replicated in the future. 

“We remain very optimistic about the future of the development of the electricity sector and as a government, we are committed to projects such as these which are the key to facing the climate challenge that small islands like ours face," he says. "I congratulate LUCELEC on spearheading this project and we continue to be thankful for the support of the Rocky Mountain Institute and all who were involved in its successful implementation.”

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