The BVI Electricity Corporation has announced that four companies have submitted bids to install approximately two megawatts of solar photovoltaic on various government buildings and statutory bodies in the Territory.
The companies will produce electricity via solar energy for the next 25 years.
At a media event held on Monday December 22, 2014, General Manager of the BVI Electricity Corporation Mr. Leroy A. E. Abraham disclosed that the companies namely Caribbean Energy Opportunities anticipates producing 93, 194 megawatt hours, and the total cost of that energy will be $23,568,171. He said Alternative Energy Systems bid is to produce 78,865.5 megawatt hours at a total cost of $24,363,962.25.
NRG Energy Inc., states that it will produce 112,050.457 megawatt hours of energy at an estimated cost of $26,265,847 while the company of Main Street Power Company Inc. anticipates producing 79,630.822 megawatt hours and the total cost of that energy will be $31,583,562.
According to Mr. Abraham, the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation had announced that a Request for Proposal (RFP) had been issued for the project while hosting CARILEC Renewable Energy and Regulatory Forums in September of this year. He further stated that Requests for Proposals were sent out to 36 companies some local, inviting them to tender on the project.
“At the mandatory site visit scheduled on September 25-26, 2014, 13 of the 36 companies were present and bids were due to be submitted December 19. Four bids were received for the project.” He said.
Mr. Abraham said that the Corporation is working feverishly with the Government of the Virgin Islands to amend the existing legislation to permit the use of renewable energy by both existing customers of BVIEC and to facilitate utility scale projects. The aim he said is to diversify the means of energy production within the territory by introducing renewable energy, which will complement the traditional means of energy generation and foster the creation of a new energy landscape in the British Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, Minister of Communications and Works, the Honourable Mark Vanterpool in an address at the CARILEC Conference in September 2014 had disclosed that Government, through his ministry and the BVIEC, had developed a policy for the implementation of renewable energy for the Virgin Islands.
“The intention is to produce 30% of the Territory’s power supply by the year 2023. Such sources include the use of solar, wind, energy from waste, water heaters, lifestyle changes and recycling.” Minister Vanterpool said at the time.
The Minister told the meeting that the BVIEC is vigorously pursuing its Phase V plan, which is meant to expand the generation capability in the Virgin Islands to 59 megawatts within the next 18 months and that the transmission route between Pockwood Pond and Road Town is being expanded and diversified under the Phase V Plan. He said BVIEC is in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office to finalize the necessary legislative changes to permit the production of renewable energy, as an energy source in the Territory and that requests for Proposals were being developed to replace all Territorial street lights with a combination of LEDs and solar.
Minister Vanterpool stated, “BVIEC is in the initial stages of its Request for Proposals or RFPs for the installation of solar PV systems on various buildings for Government and Statutory bodies and solar farms are also being developed via Public Private Partnerships or PPPs with five (5) government sites under consideration and at least one (1) private utility scale project.”
He also added that a gradual replacement of diesel with liquefied propane was being considered, a move which he said will bring economic and environmental benefits, among others.