The largest solar plus storage project to be built in the Caribbean has been announced by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and Leclanché
The largest solar generation plus energy storage project ever to be built in the Caribbean has been announced by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, the state-owned St. Kitts Electric Company (SKELEC) and Switzerland-based Leclanché, one of the world’s leading energy storage companies.
Ian Patches Liburd, St. Kitts and Nevis minister of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and Transport said “we are set to embark on this vital solar+storage project as a key part of our renewable energy thrust that is critical to the future development of our country.”
The 35.6 MW solar energy plant and 44.2 MWh battery storage facility will be built on government-provided land in the Basseterre Valley, adjacent to the City of Basseterre and the current SKELEC PowerStation on the island of St. Kitts.
It will provide the residents of this Caribbean twin-island federation with a reliable and renewable clean energy source with fixed cost savings compared to the current diesel-generated power system. The system will provide between 25-30 percent of the nation’s current power generation needs while displacing the same amount of diesel-generated capacity.
“The solar and storage project will help solidify the financial strength of SKELEC over the next 20+ years, while substantially reducing the islands’ fuel cost over that period. The expected fuel avoidance cost from the installation of the solar farm will not only be beneficial to the energy demand of the Federation but represents that most viable option for securing SKELEC’s financial future,” Liburd added.
Leclanché will serve as the prime engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the installation of both the solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery energy storage system (BESS).
Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché said that his firm is thankful to Prime Minister Timothy Harris, Public Infrastructure Minister Liburd, the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis, and the SKELEC Board and executive team for their tremendous vision, cooperation and efforts in support of this exciting project.
“This project marks the first time a megawatt-scale solar energy system, stabilised by a state-of-the-art lithium battery energy storage system, can be utilised to provide true ‘base load’ power for a utility on a Caribbean island. It sends a strong signal to other Caribbean countries, and those around the world, that there is a cleaner, more cost-efficient and viable alternative to diesel power.”
SKELEC and Leclanché have already entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which ensures the system will supply essential power capacity for St. Kitts for many years to come. Leclanché has established a St. Kitts special purpose vehicle (SPV) along with local partner Solrid, to fund, own and operate the facility. Once the energy generation and storage project is completed and delivered, Leclanché will be responsible for the management of all project operations, maintenance and equipment warranties.