Large solar solutions require coordination and cooperation between all stakeholders and community members. The World Bank is well versed in building and managing relationships to ensure successful projects, and so is Solar Island Energy. This includes careful consideration of the impact and positive benefits to the community of people to be served by sustainable and clean energy solutions.
Solar Island Energy started working with The World Bank over 1 ½ years ago to develop a Commercial PV Demonstration Program in three Eastern Caribbean OECS nations; St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. These islands currently do not have a significant solar industry. The goal of this project is to explore and create a working model specific to each country that involves and includes local government, the utility company and utility customers to find a sustainable solution to benefit all parties, as well as aid in the growth of a domestic solar industry.
We were hired to first assess dozens of potential sites for the project. These sites included hospitals, prisons, universities and government ministerial buildings. Site assessments must take a considerable amount of information into account; such as the suitability of the building and its energy usage, roof condition, electrical infrastructure, and the potential benefits to the community. Our assessment determined that the following buildings are best suited to benefit from a solar energy solution and meet the other goals of the World Bank program.
- Lucia’s Owen King EU Hospital in Castries
- Vincent and the Grenadines Community College in Kingstown
- Grenada’s T.A. Marryshow Community College in St Georges
Keeping in mind our responsibility to the communities and the goal of benefiting the local economy, each of the projects will include an educational component. This will provide training to officials that are responsible for hands-on management and regulation of the industry, as well as students and professionals that are interested in a career in the solar industry. The training will focus on the engineering fundamentals and best practices for quality installation in the region, as well as analysis and communication of financial performance.
Solar Island Energy continues to work closely with the World Bank team, Prime Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Energy Ministry Directors, and Management of the various utility companies in each community; LUCELEC, VINLEC and GRENLEC. Together we are developing customized solutions that suit the utility ownership models and that also comply with local guidelines, as the utility companies have various policies concerning solar installation. Each of the countries is pursuing a different project model, but one thing the three countries have in common is the need to withstand very strong winds of up to a Category 4 Hurricane – a wind speed of 156 mph.
We are very excited by this challenge and will continue to share more as we progress forward. The three projects are scheduled to complete this year. Please follow along on our Facebook page to learn more about us and our projects!