CUC begins testing new solar facility

| 05/06/2017 | 6 Comments

(CNS Business): Grand Cayman’s power provider is just a few weeks away from officially opening Cayman’s first ever solar farm. Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) said in a statement today that it has started testing the facility in Bodden Town. Commissioned in partnership with solar project developer Entropy, the renewable energy 5MW facility is expected to generate enough electricity to feed into CUC’s grid and power over 800 homes. CUC officials said testing will take around two weeks and engineers hope that there will be no noticeable power interruptions.

“While we do not expect any interruptions in service during the commissioning process, it is possible that we may need to take local sections of the grid offline and unfortunately disrupt service for some customers during short periods of time,” said Vice President Customer Services and Technology, Sacha Tibbetts. “CUC will take all possible steps to ensure that power is not interrupted. CUC is committed to providing reliable service and we appreciate the patience and support of our customers as we incorporate this exciting renewable energy source to our generation fleet.”

The solar farm will provide energy will reducing the use of diesel fuel and the associated emissions into the atmosphere cutting the islands carbon footprint. The project is now expected to be completed in a few weeks and will officially open later this month.

“CUC has been pursuing utility scale renewable energy projects for many years now and we are pleased that after so many challenges and delays we are at the stage where energy flowing from this solar project is imminent,” Tibbetts added.

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Category: Alternative Energy, Local Business, Technology, Utilities

Comments (6)

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  1. Rodney Barnett IV says:

    This is an exciting first step into what can be a significant new technology providing clean electricity to customers of CUC. However, it is just a first step, and customers must understand even when proven successful, reliable, and economically feasible, it will be many decades before CUC will be able to totally or at least mostly depend on photo cell (photovoltaic or PV cells) for our power here in Cayman.

    That is not to say that future developments in technology may change or speed up implementation, but it will just take time. Photo cells are only part of the transition; the other side is storage and that is yet to be put in place here. CUC will need to develop large storage facilities to provide for long periods of low production days due to storms or simply cloudy weather. Also the new large farms will need to prove themselves in regard to hurricane susceptibility and ability to recover after these storms.

    As the solar farm is put into operation, hopefully CUC will develop plans and a timeline to implement storage facilities, and of course over time more and more farms around these islands thus providing customers with an efficient safe and green way to light up our lives.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Only 20 years late…

  3. Harauguer says:

    I understand that right there in Jamaica last year there was a solar utility deal signed for 8 cents/kilowatt hour, why have we signed our deal for 17 cents/kilowatt hour.

    Why! Why! Why!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great to see this happening. Long overdue!

  5. Anonymous says:

    The main problem is that CUC need to have spinning reserve to compensate for the failure of their largest generator.
    Spinning reserve is not free.

    Becoming independent of the grid is so liberating. There are more and more people every day making the leap of faith. These are exciting times.

    It is also possible to generate your drinking water from solar which is pretty bad news for the supermarkets (www.ecoloblue.com). Independence? Quick, find a way to tax it.

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