The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is fulfilling another of its campaign promises to develop the country’s energy sector.
The Government of Grenada and the European Union on Tuesday signed a multi-million dollar financing agreement to undertake the start of the Carriacou Wind Energy Project.
The agreement was approved in February to the tune of EUR$3.9 million with EUR$2.5 million as a grant from the European Union to the Government of Grenada and at least EUR$1.4 million in counterpart funding from GRENLEC.
In the 2012 Budget presentation, Finance and Energy Minister, Nazim Burke reminded the nation that the Congress-led administration is committed to the development of all of Grenada’s non-renewable and renewable energy resources.
Minister Burke cited energy development as a pillar of the new and modern economy that was essential to fuel Grenada’s transformation.
He said then that the EUR2.5 million would be used to purchase equipment, which will be leased, to GRENLEC to generate 1.9 megawatts of electricity in Carriacou.
According to Minister Burke, the project is a momentous step towards stabilising electricity prices in Grenada and reducing carbon footprint.
In addition, he said the project seeks to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuel for electricity generation in the country.
During Tuesday’s signing ceremony, Burke said he believes that the Carriacou Wind Energy Project will put the “Sister Isles” on the map and thanked the EU for its continued support in the development of Grenada.
The finance minister also thanked GRENLEC for its vision to explore renewable energy.
GRENLEC’s Interim CEO, Clive Hosten said the Carriacou Wind Farm is the first of several projects the local electricity company intends to pursue throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
He disclosed that one of the areas of interest is geothermal energy, for which consultations with key stakeholders are ongoing, in addition to work on draft legislation to manage exploration of Grenada’s resources.
The Wind Energy Project will include a wind farm and energy storage system, with an intelligent control system.
This configuration of state-of-the art technology will allow production of about 1-2 megawatts of wind energy or between 40-60 percent wind energy penetration in Carriacou, placing it among commercial hybrid systems delivering the highest penetrations of wind energy.
The Carriacou project is intended to reduce diesel consumption on the sister isle by 40-60 percent.
Hosten disclosed that the project on completion (targeted for 2014) would see the stabilising of fuel cost and although the impact will be minimal the overall benefits will be magnified.
He said one of the benefits of the project would be an additional tourist attraction site for people visiting the sister isle.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine noted that the launch of the project in Carriacou is only a pilot project that will provide useful lessons as Grenada pursues it “GRENADA” vision and the targets in its National Energy Policy.