BPL outlines high-end tech in Ragged Island renewable microgrid

Ragged Island’s renewable microgrid will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean to have Category 5 hurricane-resistant features and provide 90 percent renewable energy generation, a BPL press statement revealed, adding that the solar array should be complete by the end of the year, with a 1.26 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) to be completed by the beginning of the second quarter of 2020.

The release added that the contract to build the microgrid was awarded to Tugliq Energy Co. and its construction partner, SALT Energy, in July.

“This marks the first step to resilient, renewable microgrid power in Family Islands,” the release stated.

“The selected design is focused on providing the island with 100 percent renewable energy for most of the year, achieving approximately a 90 percent reduction of the island’s former diesel consumption.

“It is comprised of a 390 kWp, 170 mph wind load resistant solar array and a 1.26MWh battery energy storage system (BESS). Installation is underway and expected to be completed by the end of 2019 for the solar array and by April 2020 for the BESS component.

“November and December marks important milestones for the delivery of all the solar components and the commencement of construction on the island.

“This project is also one of the first in the Caribbean to feature Category 5 hurricane resilience and over 90 percent renewable energy generation,” the release revealed.

According to BPL, its partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute will assist with the implementation of sustainable and resilient energy solutions across the Family Islands.

Burlington Strachan, BPL director, grid solutions and support services, said in the release that Ragged Island is just another step in BPL’s plan to introduce an energy mix to the country’s power generation.

“Like our small scale renewable generation (SSRG) program that gives customers the option of installing a grid-tied renewable energy system, it shows the company’s commitment to supporting the national energy goal of 30 percent renewable energy penetration by 2030,” the release stated.

“This is vitally important as we work to improve the resiliency, sustainability and energy security of our nation. As we move forward we will be looking at other opportunities throughout the Family Islands and New Providence where this and another practical, cost-effective and innovative solutions can be used that support our core goals of safety, reliability, customer satisfaction and cost-effectiveness for the company and our customers.”

BPL revealed this week that more than three dozen potential independent power providers (IPPs) took interest in its request for proposals process, which was launched to develop, finance, build, own and operate solar photovoltaic and energy storage plants or hybrid power plants for North and Central Andros, North Eleuthera, South Eleuthera and Inagua.

“In the end, six companies submitted bids for Inagua; five companies submitted bids for North and Central Andros and ten companies each submitted for the other two locations, North Eleuthera and South Eleuthera,” BPL noted in a separate press release.

“Based on the addresses given, four of the six companies to submit bids for Inagua are Bahamian, as are three of those who submitted for North and Central Andros and five each of those who submitted for North Eleuthera and South Eleuthera.

“All told, a total of 45 submissions are being reviewed. That review is in advanced stages.”

Contracts will be awarded in 2020, according to the power company.

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Chester Robards

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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