East Grand Bahama will receive improved resilience against natural disasters with the introduction of solar microgrids, which will be installed later this year and into 2022, Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson said during the Grand Bahama Business Outlook last week.
Thompson explained that a $4.9 million project, financed through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will ensure that reliance on fossil fuels to provide power to the area and the turnaround time to re-energize the area after a natural disaster, are reduced.
“Under this project, we will be engaged in numerous capital works throughout various parts of East Grand Bahama to provide improved and more resilient renewable energy infrastructure,” said Thompson.
“Microgrids will allow this area to be powered by renewable energy while running independently from the main power grid. Solar-powered energy will be used to reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels while simultaneously minimizing the impact on our environment.
“The isolation feature will become particularly useful in the event of future natural disasters, as the microgrids can separate themselves from areas experiencing complications, meaning power can still be provided to those in unaffected areas.”
Thompson said the installations will begin in September on Sweeting’s Cay and in McLean’s Town, which will also power neighboring cays and Pelican Point. The installations will then move to Freetown, High Rock and Rocky Creek.
According to Thompson, a solar street lighting project has already begun in East Grand Bahama, affecting McClean’s Town, Sweeting’s Cay, Pelican Point, High Rock, Freetown, and Water Cay.
The project has employed about 10 people and is expected to be completed within two months, noted Thompson.