The government said plans are afoot to build a wind farm on the island of Tortola this year, adding that a Hybrid Renewable Energy System will be constructed on Anegada.
The hybrid system – like the one proposed for Anegada – usually uses more than one renewable energy sources combined to improve energy supply.
Renewable energy sources include wind and solar.
In announcing the proposed systems for Tortola and Anegada, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said the aim is to use more renewable energy, and reduce dependence on imported petroleum and other fossil fuels. Fossil fuels currently account for 99 percent of the BVI’s electricity generation, according to the government.
“My government, in support of its climate change initiatives, is keen to reduce this territory’s dependence on fossil fuels. With the legislation in place, introduction of renewable energy sources is a priority. We expect to include a proposed Renewable Energy Hybrid System for the Sister Island of Anegada and a Solar Farm here on Tortola during 2017,” Premier Smith said.
More stable electricity next month
Meanwhile, the premier stated that his government – through the current system – will soon start providing a more stable supply of electricity.
That is being done through expansion of the territory’s power generation capacity under the so-called Phase Five Development Programme.
“We remain committed to upgrading the electrical infrastructure. The Phase Five Development Programme is well advanced and nearing completion, and will no doubt bring to an end both unscheduled outages and load shedding,” the premier said.
Deputy General Manager at the BVI Electricity Corporation Henry Creque, in the meantime, said two of the three Wartisila generators are scheduled to be commissioned next month.
The two generators being commissioned as part of the Phase Five Development Programme will add 16.2 megawatts of electricity to the existing grid.
“This should assist in reducing load shedding,” said the government.
In relation to the third generator, the administration explained: “With the final generator expected to be online in the second quarter, the extra capacity will reach approximately 24.3 megawatts. After the completion of Phase Five, the territory’s electrical power supply will have a capacity of 57.5 megawatts which is a 47 percent increase after units 1, 2 and 11 (sum capacity 5.5 megawatts) are retired. The current demand for electricity is approximately 34 megawatts before Phase Five Development Programme.”
Phase Five includes an expansion to the building at Pockwood Pond power plant, installation of three new Wartsila generators with a total capacity of 24.3 megawatts, and the installation of two 34.5 voltage transmission cables between Pockwood Pond and Long Bush, Tortola.