GRENLEC has said that its goal of 20% renewables by 2020 is more of a realistic nature but will be pushing ahead with plans to try and achieve much more than what it really sets out to do.
According to General Manager of GRENLEC, Collin Cover the 20% target is achievable but the company does not know if it will actually go beyond that but the plan is to push ahead to the limits.
He made reference to the Carriacou wind project where he said there are benchmarks, which can get up to 40% renewable penetration.
Cover said that GRENLEC is trying to test that to see if it can get up to 70% penetration by renewables.
“We don’t know how far we can get but once you’ve gotten that we will venture and say can we level that over into Grenada and so we’re using that as an experimental phase to see what we can get but our intention is to push forward (with) as much renewable as we can,” he added.
If achieved, he said this would mean more energy security for Grenada.
“It means less money going out of the country to purchase oil every month and so we think generally that is what we would like to achieve in (the) end but we are not gonna say we are going to get 100% because we don’t know….”, he said.
“…We just intend to keep moving. We are still 20% by 2020 because we think that’s achievable but we intend to keep moving that aggressively forward as we have been reaching space and (when) we see where we are, we will better be able to see how well we can continue that,” he added.
According to Cover, one of the problems the utility company is encountering is acquiring the land space to continue moving forward with the renewable mission.
“Renewables, whether it is solar or wind farm, it takes up a lot of land and right now we are being constrained by the acquisition of land and if we certainly acquire land then will be able to (move) more aggressive in what we would like to achieve,” he said.
GRENLEC believes more can be achieved in attaining the renewable target through a co-operative effort with the Government.
Relations are believed to be somewhat strained between the utility company and the 20-month old New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The Grenadian leader has constantly criticized the deal that was reached by the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Sir Nicholas Braithwaite between 1990-95 to privatise GRENLEC in which the majority of the shares were sold to the U.S-based company, WRB Enterprises.