The Grenada Electricity Services Ltd (GRENLEC) is taking positive action that will strengthen the utility company’s position as a front-runner in the development of renewable energy resources in the Caribbean.
At a recent board meeting held in St George’s, GRENLEC’s directors adopted a resolution authorisaing management to significantly enhance the existing internal plan to evaluate options for “expanding renewable generation up to 100 percent of all the electricity generated in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.”
GRENLEC chairman Bob Blanchard explained that the upgraded corporate renewable energy strategic plan, aimed at accelerating the development and implementation of feasible renewable energy technologies, is ready for implementation.
He said, “This 2014 strategic plan reviews the previous plan, projects forward to the next five years and identifies the Carriacou wind farm, Grenada wind farm, customer-owned RE interconnection program, Petite Martinique solar- wind hybrid, geothermal and alternative technologies among the projects and activities for implementation and development.”
Blanchard noted that during the meeting the board also authorised the completion of development and construction of a 2.2 megawatt photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, similar to that recently launched in Petite Martinique.
“We have been working for some time on finalising land issues and permitting. Implementing our strategy will utilise the quickest and most reliable renewable energy technology and involve a number of electrical system upgrades to produce improved reliability and power quality while reducing line losses, among other benefits,” he explained.
The GRENLEC board of directors also approved the development and implementation of a plan to optimise renewable energy generation on Petite Martinique, up to 100 percent.
This project is seen as a vital laboratory for developing solutions which may be applied to the larger Grenada system.
These projects will complement the high penetration wind project already launched on Carriacou, developed as a joint initiative between the government of Grenada and GRENLEC, and sponsored by the European Union (EU), as well as the company’s own PV projects on the roofs of its buildings at Dusty Highway and the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School, and its customer-owned RE interconnection program.
The Chairman recalled that GRENLEC was the first utility in the region to implement a customer-owned renewable energy generation interconnection programme.
He explained that 360 kilowatts (kW) are already installed under this innovative program, with another 200 kW of projects contracted, making it the most significant programme of its type in the region.
He added, “Our mandate to the company for the acceleration of projects will add to the more than 500 kW of PV already installed in Grenada. Our goal is to have renewables contribute approximately 35 percent of electricity generated annually in Grenada in the medium term.”
“Obviously, as we look at optimising our generation mix for sustainability and price, we must also consider all options including geothermal, natural gas, propane and other alternatives as part of an overall strategy,” he added.
Blanchard explained that this intensified thrust is not only intended to help stabilise the price of electricity in Grenada and contribute towards lowering the cost in the future, but also further demonstrates that GRENLEC is seriously concerned about the country’s energy security and preserving its environment.
GRENLEC is the sole provider of electricity to the state of Grenada, comprised of the islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Since 1960, the company has been providing integrated services of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to citizens of the East Caribbean nation.
Today, the Company serves more than 44,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers and has risen to the challenge of providing safe and reliable service to the people of Grenada by investing in its employees, business and the community.