New renewable energy factory opens

Frome left: Solaris’ Vincent McClean, Minister Darcy Boyce and Chairman Keith Scotland discuss a solar water heating unit at the opening of the new factory.

Solaris Energy Limited has opened the Caribbean’s newest and most modern renewable energy manufacturing facility.

With this new 8,000 square-foot factory in St. Philip, Solaris Energy enhances its 30-year history of providing solar powered products by increasing its production of solar water heaters, expanding its portfolio of products, and reaching out to new international markets.

At its new address at Building 7, Six Roads Industrial Estate, Solaris Energy’s subsidiary Solaris Global Energy Limited will continue to produce flat plate solar water heaters, including the popular Solaris 500; and add to its product line new vacuum tube solar water heaters and photovoltaic electricity products and systems.

The factory opening featured a gala attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, who also was the featured speaker.

Boyce, who has responsibility for Telecommunications and Energy, Immigration and Invest Barbados, said: “This expanded and upgraded facility [is] helping this country get a little bit closer to realising the vision of this administration for a dynamic and strong renewable energy sector.”

Citing the need to get solar water heaters into the homes of income groups that generally do not have them now, Boyce spoke about encouraging research and development, marketing and financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems made in the region.

“Solaris has already begun this work in research and development as attested by their introduction of new materials, new technology for heat conversion and more flexible sizing of systems,” he added.

Solaris Energy’s efforts fit directly within Caricom’s Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme to remove the barriers to the use of renewable energy and to foster its development and commercialisation within the region.

Chairman of Solaris, Keith Scotland, said the vision of the company aims to provide affordable, renewable energy choices, and to show how collaboration between nations can drive greater success.

“We at Solaris Energy are a combination of Bajan innovation and Trini drive and entrepreneurial skill. This is a collaboration to which our group chairman, George Nicholas, remains committed to developing in order to be model for CARICOM countries in how co-operation between entities of different Caribbean countries is essential to achieve a common goal.”

Studies conducted by consultants through the Inter-American Development Bank estimate that Caribbean economies could save approximately 20 per cent of electricity needs through energy efficiency. Such savings only may be realised by the adoption of renewable and efficient energy practices.

Solaris Energy’s dedication to energy efficiency will be further evident with the installation of a 50kW PV system at its new factory before the end of this year. The system will generate enough electricity to fully power operations at the factory, plus feed surplus energy into the grid. Solaris Energy will be the first renewable energy products manufacturer in the region to be running fully on renewable energy.

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