Gov’t pushing for more green energy

Government is finalising a multi-million dollar plan that will power 43,000 homes with electricity. Minister of the Environment and Drainage Dr. Denis Lowe said the Mangrove Pond Landfill, once called Mount Stinkeroo, would be transformed into a special facility using waste to energy, gas to energy, wind and solar energy platforms to reduce the island’s dependence on the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited. He also told the House of Assembly that representatives from his ministry and “the experts” elsewhere in Government “are currently in negotiations with the Barbados Light & Power to work out a power purchase agreement that will determine the cost and the sale of energy as we produce this energy”. “Our energy policy will give us the opportunity to generate 31 megawatts of energy that will allow us to power at least 43,000 families in Barbados. That will mean a significant dent into our requirement for energy and in our dependency on the Barbados Light & Power Company,” he said during debate on a supplementary for the provision of a diesel rebate for various sectors in Barbados. The Christ Church East MP said the current administration had abandoned the idea of taking garbage to a new sanitary landfill at Greenland, St. Andrew because it thought utilising the existing Mangrove Pond Landfill was the better option.

Central components

“So what we have in the green energy complex are four central components. One is a waste-to-energy facility that will cost the Government well over $300 million to construct and to operate and that facility has the capacity of generating 14 megawatts of power and can power 27,000 households in Barbados,” he said. “Secondly, we have … the landfill gas to energy facility where we will be extracting the gases from those landfills that have now been decommissioned, cell two and cell three and the like and now we are … trapping the gas and converting it into energy and that will also power about 8,000 households in Barbados. “Then we have the wind energy. Barbados has a continuous supply of wind and we think that could take advantage of it by putting it into the alternative energy mix to ensure that we get an output that can power at least 7,000 homes in Barbados and produce a capacity of 7.5 megawatts of electricity,” he added. Lowe also told the Lower House that the fourth component would be the establishment of a solar farm on a greened Mangrove. “What we have put in the mix of the design is that all the landfills that have been decommissioned we are now going to put what we call the green cover on them, where we are going to beautify them and put a green cover on them, create a nice look when you view the old landfill at Mangrove,” he noted. “And then what we will do [is[ we will plant our solar farms on each of those locations and we can plant solar farms that can generate up to 5.5 megawatts of electricity and power 940 families across the country.” Lowe said it “makes no sense in … modern Barbados that you will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in actually building a sanitary landfill when in fact the same solid waste that you are carrying there can become an important implement in the generation of energy”. (SC)

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