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Renewable energy initiative soon to be revealed

BLP members on their way to do business: Maria Agard, Santia Bradshaw and Cynthia Forde.

BLP members on their way to do business: Maria Agard, Santia Bradshaw and Cynthia Forde.

A multi-million Renewable Energy Initiative will be unveiled in Barbados in the coming weeks.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said in his Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals in the House of Assembly this evening, that the scheme was aimed, not only at garnering energy cost savings for the Government, but also using some major state-owned buildings to generate electricity from solar energy for “on sell” to the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited.

“The Cabinet will shortly be called upon to consider a proposal to invite the private sector to supply, erect, operate and maintain solar electricity systems on the roofs of selected Government-owned buildings, using the modality of a Solar Power Purchase Agreement,” disclosed Sinckler.

He said the electricity generated by these systems will be used by the Government and the excess sold to BL&P.

“This novel public sector/private sector partnership arrangement is intended to advance the penetration of solar electricity systems in Barbados,” noted the Finance Minister.

He pointed out that the erection of solar electricity systems on the roofs of hurricane shelters was to be funded by a US$2 million grant. This effort, he continued, was being pursued within the context of a series of initiatives.

These included the proposed established of solar electricity systems on the roofs of 12 Government-owned buildings as part of the US $24.6 million Public Sector Smart Energy Programme to be funded by the IDB, as the requisite agreements are expected to be signed by September 25.

Another initiative is the establishment of the $20 million Smart Energy Fund being financed by a loan from the IDB.

“The loan component of this facility can be used by the private sector to install renewable energy systems, including solar electricity at their properties using a US$2 million grant from the Global Environmental Facility with the United Nations Development Programme acting as administrator of the project,” announced the minister.

Yet another initiative is the erection of solar electricity systems at 19 schools and National Conservation Commission facilities to be funded from Government’s resources.

“The contracts for this work have already been awarded to three companies,” Sinckler informed the House. (EJ)

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