Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has announced that the Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to strengthening the Territory’s energy supply and reducing its carbon footprint.
The Premier, while delivering the 2022 Budget Address, referenced the contract signed between the Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy and Battery Energy Storage System Project that is anticipated to reduce fossil fuel usage on Anegada by 95 percent during the first quarter of 2023.
“This will surpass the Government’s target of reducing fossil-fuel-based generation by 80 percent. The system will comprise of approximately one MegaWatt of solar PV panels and 4,078 kilowatt-hour of battery energy storage,” the Premier said.
He also mentioned the 22 students from the H L. Stoutt Community College Certified Solar Technician Training Programme who received their North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certifications.
The Premier said these students will use the Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy and Battery Energy Storage System Project to gain the necessary practical experience that will put them in a position to catapult the Renewable Energy Industry in the Virgin Islands. The VI will lead in this area, he added.
The Territory’s execution of renewable energy and fossil fuel reduction is not only limited to Anegada. The Premier explained that the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) is progressing feasibility assessments with respect to exploring the renewable energy potential for utility scale solar PV generation and penetration on the national transmission grid infrastructure in Paraquita Bay, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.
Premier Fahie encouraged residents to transition to clean renewable energy, noting a number of incentives including a zero tax on clean energy equipment for one year in the first instance and other incentives for persons to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.
The Premier explained construction work on the BVIEC’s headquarters on Virgin Gorda will commence in 2022 following the destruction of the former headquarters during the hurricanes of 2017.
“This headquarters is expected to utilise sustainable and greener strategies following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. Once completed, it will be the first LEED certified building in the Virgin Islands,” he said.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to assisting the BVI Electricity Corporation in the development of the Territory’s electrical infrastructure by adequately supplying a reliable and continuous electrical supply to the entire population at an affordable cost.