The St. Eustatius Utility Company STUCO signed a contract Wednesday, with Sunshine Real Estate for the engineering, procurement and commissioning of a two-megawatt solar park. For this project Sunshine partnered with ECO Energy, SMA and Schletter to deliver a turnkey project. “With this project STUCO has officially embarked on a strategic ambition to refocus its source of energy for the production of electricity on renewables and scale back our dependency on the expensive and volatile fossil fuel,” the company stated in a press release on Thursday. Once completed, the project is intended to provide for more than 20 per cent of Statia’s current electricity needs.
“However, more exciting is that we will at times have more than 100 per cent renewable energy penetration on the grid, which calls for a very exciting and intelligent way of control in order to maintain grid stability by means of a power management system together with batteries mainly for grid stabilization,” STUCO’s Managing Director Fred Cuvalay said. “The application of solar energy on this scale, while a first in the industry for a Caribbean-island operation, is the vision of many utility companies as they/we seek to maximize our usage of renewable energies of solar and wind more readily available in the islands,” Cuvalay stated.
Sunshine Real Estate was selected for the project after a “thorough” tender process commencing with a feasibility study, request for proposals, and participation of 17 companies from around the world, with seven companies entering an official proposal.
“There is a keen focus to complete the project at the end of this year barring unforeseen delays due to weather, shipping and delivery logistics,” said Cuvalay. “With the commissioning of this project STUCO will be leading the way in the application of renewable energy in the region and beyond. STUCO will continue to give updates on the progress being made as we break ground and works progress in the very near future in line with our planned schedule.”