- Sol Ecolution and Blue Circle Energy have announced a joint collaboration to implement 30 MW community solar capacity in Barbados
- It will be realized as 50 distributed ground mounted single-axis projects, spread across 11 parishes
- Currently under development and seeking licensing and permitting approvals, the portfolio is planned to be realized in phases between 2022 and 2025
The renewable energy arm of Barbados based petroleum supplier Sol Group, Sol Ecolution has joined hands with local renewables developer Blue Circle Energy Projects to build a distributed portfolio of 30 MW solar capacity in the form of Community Solar Gardens in the island nation.
This capacity is planned to be installed as 50 ground mounted single axis solar projects across 11 parishes, and constructed in phases between 2022 and 2025. Currently the entire portfolio is in the licensing and permitting stages.
“The distributed nature of the portfolio will minimize short-term impacts to the electrical grid and facilitate additional grid support and resilience opportunities long-term,” stated Sol Ecolution.
Blue Circle, whose portfolio this is, will develop it through pre-construction phase post which Sol Ecolution will come into the picture as financier. Both the companies plan to collaborate for project construction while also operating and maintaining these through their 20-year life span.
The partners are actively exploring options to facilitate investment in this portfolio by Sol Barbados employees, local pension funds, credit unions and cooperatives to comply with the government directive of all renewable energy projects to have at least 30% local ownership.
They specifically plan to involve local educational institutes as investors for these gardens offering them with a 20-year cash flow to invest in enhanced sustainability and renewable energy programing for their students.
“There is a wonderful opportunity for Barbados to become a long-term regional centre of excellence in the development, design, construction and financing of renewable energy within the entire Caribbean,” explained Blue Circle President Cameron Steinman. “This all starts with education, and this 20-year annuity for schools derived from the income from these Community Solar Gardens will help ensure that green energy programming is being delivered into classrooms for many years.”
At present, more than 90% of the country’s electricity mix comprises carbon-based fuels, some of which is imported. Under the Barbados National Energy Policy (BNEP), the Caribbean nation aims to go 52% renewable energy powered by 2023, and eventually 100% by 2030 and become carbon neutral with the help of solar, wind, ocean and biomass energy. As of December 31, 2021, the country had 57 MW distributed and 10 MW utility scale renewable energy connected to the local grid.