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The Bahamas’ first utility-scale photovoltaic plant officially opens

The country’s first utility-scale photovoltaic plant was officially opened yesterday and is expected to save The Bahamas $350,000 in diesel per year and offset the production of 856 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, according to a press release from Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar.

The $4 million solar car park, located at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, was officially opened yesterday. It was developed and funded through a regional grant from the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund.

“The Bahamas solar project evidences the clear business case for investment in renewable energy and sustainable development, with immediate savings for the economy,” said UAE (United Arab Emirates) Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi.

“The project also gives the UAE and The Bahamas a strong track record of joint delivery that amplifies our growing cooperation, from visa waivers to the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.”

The national stadium will now receive a portion of its power from the 925-kilowatt solar panel setup, constructed as a cover over parking spaces at the stadium. According to the release, two electric vehicle charging stations were added to the structure.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who was on hand to open the facility, explained that the Ministry of the Environment and Housing recently engaged Woslee Construction to begin the roof-mounted installation of solar panels at the Anatol Rodgers High School, and construction is set to begin in the coming weeks.

Minnis added that a request for qualifications for the installation of roof-mounted solar panels at T. G. Glover Primary School and ground-stationed solar panels at the Office of the Prime Minister was put out on the government’s website yesterday.

He also gave an update on Ragged island’s green, smart island initiative, explaining that “We are making progress in our efforts to incorporate solar power generation into the Ragged Island electricity grid.

“A techno-economic modeling for the island’s electric grid has been conducted,” he said.

“The proposed solar array and battery storage system is projected to provide 95 percent of the island’s electrical needs.”

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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