Bahamas looks at $60m solar/wind proposals

| 10/12/2009

Cayman Islands Business News(The Tribune): One of the six renewable energy bidders shortlisted by the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) yesterday said its solar/wind power project would require a $60 million investment and generate 50-60 construction jobs, collectively generating 24 megawatts (MW) of power per day – equivalent to one of the gas turbines the Corporation currently employs. Thomas Schneider, the Bahamas Renewable Energy Corporation’s chairman, said the company had targeted projects on three separate islands where BEC’s power needs were greatest – New Providence, Abaco and Eleuthera/Harbour Island.

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Recommended reading: Bahamas pursuing renewable energy projects (a commentary from the Bahamas Pundit)

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  1. Dred says:

    At the very least being a country in the Caribbean near the equator with 80% year round sunshine we should be a heavy solar Island. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for us not to be pursueing Solar on a mass scale. NONE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Price, Efficiency, and Expertise are three of the reasons, Monopoly is the fourth. That said, the newest generation of nanocrystalline photovoltaic silicon films promise to change the econometrics and increase the efficiency of PV cells up to +30% better than First Solar’s current USD$0.98/watt benchmark.  This technology is still a few years off, but it is no secret that this technology is in development, sufficient to give pause to investing millions in this era’s archaic PV technology.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the wind turbines are yet to be efficient then why are they being built by the 1,000s and used all over the world?

        Fit that into your abacus, I would take wind/solar over nuclear/fossil anythime.

        • frank rizzo says:

          Because it takes thousands to come close to generating the energy required.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have listened to a serious call for nuclear power for the Cayman Islands when sun and wind abound here.

    Lord protectus from ourselves…

  3. Anonymous says:

    For all of you CUC bashers out there maybe you should do some research on what is currently going on to bring wind power to Cayman.  Go to the ERA website

    • what a mess says:

      The website you posted is for real estate sales ??

      Also, if CUC is doing so much to bring wind power here, they could seemingly do more to educate the public of such efforts…and benefits!

  4. Anon says:

    With or without sufficient wind for wind powered resources, personally, I think its complete and utter madness not to be utilising the obvious to generate electricity and hot water here…. the sun! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Very expensive and not as efficient as one would initially think.  The states like California which have advocated solar energy, offer billions in state-funded subsidies which have certainly contributed to their near bankrupt state of affairs and near-junk credit rating. 

      • Anon says:

        California does not immediately spring to mind when seeking comparisons to the specific dynamics of small islands.  Perhaps better comparisons can be drawn from the reading the full [Jensen 2000] document I posted earlier:

        Cayman certainly has plenty of solar on offer, and the same document does demonstrate a return on investment over time.  Government initiatives in this regard don’t necessarily have to be funded by government coffers… quite often, with the right marketing, large commercial concerns can often be brought onboard to contribute/fund/finance green initiatives.  But of course, the money has to be handled in a correct and responsible way to ensure it is properly and wisely spent… and that seems to be an issue here in Cayman!

        Sounds silly, but (as I dont have hot water) I often sit and ponder… if I could just put my tank on the roof I could have free warm water… those first few minutes in the shower when the water in the pipe is hot from the sun are bliss!  Wonder if it would work? 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wally on Rooster is against wind power so as a former CUC employee don’t expect the most logical, environmentally friendly, efficient and sustainable form of power to be seen in Cayman soon.

    Apparently unlike the Bahamas, Cayman doesn’t have enough wind for wind turbine power which sounds like hot air to me.

    Given the almost constant NE trade winds enjoyed by Cayman I think it would be irresponsible to not throughly investigate wind power as an alternative source as an electrical generating medium.

  6. anonymous says:

    Has there been any plan since Paloma to revisit the Cayman Brac Power & Light Company’s Wind Power Project at Stake Bay Point?

    From Feb 2007, "The CBP&L project aims to construct a windmill farm capable of generating electricity for Cayman Brac and reducing power costs to as little as 16 cents per kilowatt hour. This compares to current costs of approximately 24 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 100 kilowatts. Construction of between 10 and 15 windmills would result in each producing 200,000 kilowatt hours annually, sufficient to power approximately 130 houses."

  7. Anonymous says:

    "A dramatic shift to renewable energy on a largescale on continents/ mainlands is unrealistic in the short and medium term in regard to technology, financing and organisation. However it would be of high interest to demonstrate the possibilities of smaller communities to base their entire energy supply on renewable energy sources.  Islands can cheaper, faster, and easier reach a higher share of renewable energy in its energy balance than a much bigger mainland. The very smallness of the islands – that often is seen as a disadvantage – is in this context actually an advantage...

    … Most small islands around the world today are dependent on imported fossil fuels for their energy needs, especially for transport and electricity production. Because of the small size and isolated location of many islands, infrastructure costs such as energy are up till three to four times higher than on the mainland. The high price for fossil fuels combined with the limited demand increases the unit cost of production for conventional power production. This creates a competitive situation for renewable energy technologies on islands. Furthermore, most of the islands are endowed with good renewable resources, primarily sun and the wind…

    Conclusion: Today nearly all islands in the world are totally dependent on expensive and environmentally problematic fossil fuels for their energy needs.  But islands have a unique potential for renewable energy – a competitive economic situation for renewable energy technologies, good renewable energy resources, positive attitude towards renewable energy, highly visible laboratories for technology, organisational methods and financing and serve as demonstration projects and nations."

    [Jensen, GDRC, 2000]


  8. Dred says:

    At least one country has leaders with vision.

    I hope our leaders don’t expect CUC to do anything. They need fuel to help give them reasons to charge us more. It’s like their fallback excuse.