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Mayreau Microgrid Project Kicks Off
Kingstown, Saint Vincent – April 11, 2018 – On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC), the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Energy Unit, and EcoEnergy, N.V., kicked off the Mayreau microgrid project during the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) meeting in Kingstown.
The meeting is the first step to constructing VINLEC’s first solar-and-battery storage project, which will provide a model for the eastern Caribbean region, where diesel-powered generators account for over 90% of electricity generation. In the wake of the 2017 hurricane season, this project will utilize advanced techniques to protect the installation against Category 5 hurricanes.
“Mayreau is a very small island and everything you need on the island has to be transported from St. Vincent or Union Island—it’s always been our ambition to reduce the cost of operation on Mayreau,” said Thornley Meyers, VINLEC’s CEO. “Three years ago, we approached our board with a project to produce renewable energy on the island, to reduce the carbon footprint and naturally to reduce our cost.”
When connected to the Mayreau power system, the project will provide cost reductions, energy security, and resiliency to climate impacts. The solar and battery project will minimize the use of diesel for the generation of electricity. The project will silence the diesel generators for six to 10 hours per day. This will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise for the small island community and its residents.
“Most of the islands in the Grenadines are fully dependent on fossil fuel including Mayreau, Canouan, Union Island—and the broader concept was to look at these islands and see how to make them renewable with solar, wind, and battery storage,” said Ellsworth Dacon, Director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Energy Unit.
“The benefits of the Mayreau microgrid project will be felt well beyond the shores of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Owen Lewis, Project Manager at Mountain Institute (RMI). “RMI will leverage the success of the project for regional impact, sharing the lessons learned and experience from Mayreau to advance renewable energy implementation on other islands.”
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines project support provided by RMI is made possible by the support of the Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation and the Global Environment Facility in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.
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About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
St Vincent Electricity Services Limited delivers electricity to 37,619 customers in St. Vincent, Bequia, Caunouan, Union Island, and Mayreau, where the company operates its power plants. VINLEC supplies electricity to its customers through a network spanning over 350 miles of 33 kV, 11 kV, 400 V and 230 V lines.
The sun goes down between clouds and an expansive view of trees in a valley.
About the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation
RTNF envisions a world where all people enjoy equal opportunities to achieve health, purpose, and happiness. We make sizable, enabling grants to those adventurous organizations we believe have the ability to propel the world closer to achieving that vision, concentrating on the following two populations:
• For the people of today: We work to alleviate suffering and to provide educational access and support for all, with special emphasis on those who are most disadvantaged.
• For the people of tomorrow: Wishing to leave the world better than we found it, or at least no worse, we aim to eliminate the unsustainable use of fossil fuels by fostering the research and development of alternative energy sources, supporting environmental issue comprehension efforts, and supporting energy use behavioral modification programs.
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided over $17 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $88 billion in financing for more than 4,000 projects in 170 countries. Today, the GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
About the United Nations Development Programme
UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.