In what can only be described as a first for Montserrat, under the vision and direction of Honourable Paul J. Lewis, Montserrat now has Solar Energy incorporated in the National Power Grid.
The incorporation of Solar energy into the National Grid on Montserrat took place over the space of the last two days - March 28th and 29th - as the first phase 250KW Solar photovoltaic (PV) Project that was being undertaken by the Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour (MCWEL) through the contractors Salt Energy, of Florida, is now complete.
With the incorporation of Solar into the Grid on Montserrat, this is now showing that there is a 13% renewable energy input on the grid, which is 3% above the European Union's key performance indicator (KPI) of 10%. This is a key achievement for Hon Lewis and his team.
This first phase of this Solar project, with the 250 kilowatt (KW) Solar PV installation came at a value of EC$1.89 million, accessed via EU funding.
As the EU's KPI, as previously mentioned, has been met and surpassed by Hon Lewis and his team, this now allows for the next tranche of EU funding to accessed towards the next phase, which would be a 750KW Solar PV and Battery installation into the Montserrat National Grid.
As indicated from the image above, the Solar Panels have been placed on the roofs of the buildings of The Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL), PWD Workshop and Factory Shell buildings for the first phase of Montserrat’s very first Solar Energy Project.
The goal of Minister Lewis is towards a 1 MegaWatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage renewable energy outlay for the island.
Minister Lewis has also indicated to MNI Media that plans are afoot for both an LED and Solar lights project, for both street lighting and for other undertakings on the island. More details will be provided as they come to the fore.
MNI wanted to know from Minister Lewis what is the situation regarding Geothermal Energy development on the island. He indicated that the Department for International Development (DFID) is preparing a Geothermal Report, and that they have agreed to the financing of Technical Assistance to engage the private sector for a surface plant development to realise Geothermal Energy being put into use on Montserrat.
The work being done by Minister Lewis continues to assist Montserrat's thrust for development, as two of the three EU key performance indicators (KPIs) have been achieved under his watch.
The second of these is the completion of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Port/Breakwater Project at Little Bay.
With the completion of the ESIA for the Little Bay Port/Breakwater project, this also would now allow for the next tranche of EU funds to be accessed for this particular project to advance to the next stage of development.