North going green

Workers who had a hand in part of the construction to house turbine equipment, Michael Springer and Terry Lowe looking up at the awesome energy device.

The Chance Hall Depot in St. Lucy, has joined a number of other such Ministry of Transport and Works substations in implementing the use of renewable technology into its energy mix.

This morning a 10kW wind turbine system was launched at the depot, which Minister John Boyce said would become the primary hub for operational responses in times of disaster in the north. But the minister also noted it lead a series of renewable energy projects for other depots around the island.

“A photovoltaic system is to be installed at the Joes River Depot. This will be grid tied system consisting of 20 photovoltaic panels. Installation will begin in this financial year 2012/2013 and another 10kW wind turbine is to be erected at the Bath Depot. This system will be a split system — grid tied and batteries will also be used. This project will be implemented in the 2013/2014 financial year,” he said.

Speaking earlier from a platform set up in the shadow of the imposing wind turbine, Permanent Secretary Lionel Nurse commented that the ministry was a major consumer of electricity and the launch represented an effort to address this.

“The turbine project is in keeping with the policy for the promotion of significant alternative and renewable solutions in the national development strategy for financial, economic and environmental reasons. It is also the case that MTW is a major user of power within the Government sector and it is important therefore that we as a ministry do all in our power to facilitate this effort of reducing our energy costs,” he said.

Boyce agreed that cost of energy was one of the greatest drains on the island’s foreign reserves, further noting the benefits to be derived from the increased introduction of renewable energy into the operations of Government.

MP Denis Kellman (left) and Minister John Boyce unveil the plaque to launch the project.

Coming out of the recommendations of the Green Economy Scoping Study, he said that conservation, efficiency and alternative energy were highlighted as underlying requirements of such a green economy, with his ministry being identified as one for study and implementation.

“Today’s opening of this turbine therefore is a continued assertion that this ministry is fully on board in this regard and will continue to be as proactive as possible in facilitating the national effort.

“The Ministry of Transport and Works, as one of the largest consumers of energy in the public sector, is continuing its programme to reduce its consumption of carbon-based energy products and services,” said Boyce.

The turbine, he stated, joined other efforts of the ministry, including the installation of solar electric system for the administrative building at the Pine, St. Michael headquarters in April 2011.

“This second renewable energy project is a wind generated turbine system, which is a 10kW, off-grid system. Energy is stored therefore in 20 deep cell, 12V, 200amp batteries and it stands on a 40-foot structure.

“This system will completely power this Chance Hall Depot and indeed our plans are that this depot will be significantly upgraded to represent the depot of the northern area of Barbados, and it will typically be expected to be our first response in this area in times of emergencies like natural disasters or any other emergencies. So the idea of having stand-alone power is a wonderful intervention,” he stated.

The project was installed by Solaris Global Energy Limited, while staff at the depot constructed the building to house the batteries, inverter and other equipment. The Government Electrical Engineering Department supervised the works. (LB)

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