Solar plant on Ragged Isl. will be able to withstand Cat. 5 winds

A representative from Tugliq Energy Co., the company installing solar energy infrastructure on Ragged Island, said yesterday that while the solar panels will be completed and pushing power to the grid by the end of this month, the battery system will not be finished until later in the year.

“We are doing the installation as we speak in Ragged Island for the solar part, and the energy storage component as well is coming a bit later this year,” said Nicolas Seguin, Tugliq Energy’s business development director.

He added, “The solar part is progressing really well.

“[W]e’re around 30 to 40 percent of the solar panels are installed. The liner on the ground is fully installed. The concrete beams are fully installed. The posts are fully installed and now they’re working on installing the solar panels on the arrays.”

Seguin said the solar plant is expected to nearly completely replace diesel generation on Ragged Island.

“The intent of this system is to displace around 90 percent of the diesel fuel that was used for power generation on Ragged Island,” he said.

“So, it will almost be entirely supplied by renewable energy. And when there is cloudy days, of course the diesel generator will have to be there as a backup. But in regular normal operation, it will be fully supplied by the solar system and the battery system.”

Seguin said the plant will be able to withstand category five hurricane winds.

“The design is stamped for 180 miles per hour wind,” he said.

“So, category five is 156 or 157 miles per hour. So, it’s slightly above. We are working on a stronger design up to 200 miles per hour with SALT Energy. But at the moment it’s approved for 180 miles per hour.”

Hurricane Irma devastated Ragged Island in September 2017.

The damage caused on Ragged Island by Irma was so extensive that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) deemed the island “uninhabitable”.

After the storm, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the island would become a green island.

However, there is still no government school, post office, administrator’s office, police station or clinic on Ragged Island, as all of those buildings were destroyed during the hurricane, and have yet to be repaired.

The government has pledged $12 million to restore public infrastructure on the island.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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