Wednesday, 19 March 2014

GRENLEC undertakes Petite Martinique Solar Project

GRENLEC’s interim Chief Executive Officer, Clive Hosten
and Chairman of GRENLEC’s Board, Robert Blanchard Jr.

“THIS launch in Petite Martinique is a significant step in GRENLEC’s aggressive drive to diversify our energy portfolio,” was the assurance from the company’s interim Chief Executive Officer, Clive Hosten, when he addressed the commissioning ceremony of the Petite Martinique Solar Project.

The solar system panels on display in Petite Martinique.
Explaining that GRENLEC has set a target to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy penetration over the next few years for Petite Martinique, which has a population of less than 1 000, Hosten said that renewable energy offers the advantage of reducing the price volatility associated with fuel importation, and it is for this very reason GRENLEC will be striving to implement projects and initiatives aimed at achieving such goals.

“This impact will be magnified as we add more renewable energy to our grid. Consequently, over the long-term, we can stabilise electricity prices. Renewable energy technology is also better for our environment. It allows GRENLEC to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our emissions and noise from our generation plants, and it also increases our energy security where we do not have to depend on imported fuel,” he said.

Last Friday’s commissioning was not only for the Petite Martinique facility, but it also meant the launching of rooftop solar systems at its headquarters in Grand Anse.
A view of the grid underneath the solar system panels.

The Petite Martinique project, which is located at Citern, will be able to provide 31.59 kW or 20 per cent of the island’s peak electricity demand and the rooftop solar systems on the three main buildings at its headquarters produce 148.48 kW.

“Both systems are photovoltaic, meaning that they generate electricity directly from the sunlight. As our exploratory work has indicated, the installation of these systems has been performing extremely well and consistent with solar technology. We have also seen that the requirement for maintenance is low,” Hosten told media and others attending the commissioning ceremony.
Fr. Carol Haynes blessing the panels.

Chairman of GRENLEC’s Board, Robert Blanchard Jr., said that his company has been a pioneer in the region for renewable energy and is aware of the great hardship facing customers as a result of high fuel costs. He quickly pointed out that there is no silver bullet to solving the high energy cost.

A delegation, comprising persons from Government, the non-governmental sector and the tourism sector which have expressed great concern about the impact of high fuel costs on national sustainable development, attended the launch of the solar system in Petite Martinique. (LS)

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