The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has signed onto a multimillion-dollar deal which will see Lakes Folly, The City become the home of a state-of-the-art solar car port.
BWA chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite signed the US$3.5 million grant at BWA headquarters in The Pine, St Michael, with representatives from MASDAR, a company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Following the signing, BWA project engineer Nathan Harte told the media the grant would allow the state-owned utility to build two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, the first of which would see the installation of a 500-kilowatt ground-mounted solar panel solar system at Bowmanston Pumping Station in St John.
The second project would be the building of a 350-kilowatt solar car port at the old Cave Shepherd warehouse, opposite the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant.
“One of the visions that we see at the BWA for this car park is that parking at Kensington Oval is an issue,” Harte said. “This particular car port will be able to house 100-plus cars, and will have covered parking where the energy generated from the parking will go into the grid.”
He added the BWA stood to benefit economically from what would be the largest solar car port on the island.
At the Bowmanston station, a mounted solar system would help the BWA to cut its $2 million per month energy bill and also allow the station to continue pumping water in the event of a power outage.
“In the event that the grid is down, we would still be able to pump water to our citizens,” Harte said.
“The out-rolling of these particular PV projects will see other successful projects coming online and there are also some other major PV projects we are rolling out in order to curb our high electrical demand.”
While not going into details on those future PV projects, Harte noted those future upgrades would be coming in the next two to three years.
The money for the projects was granted through the UAE’s US$50 million Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, which was launched in 2017 to assist Caribbean small island developing states with increasing their renewable energy sector.
Credit: Alex Downes, Nation News