Statia goes solarPOSTED: 07/21/15 7:11 PM
Back row from left: Stuco’s supervisory board Chairman Ivan Berkel, Managing Director Fred Cuvalay, and Sunshine Real Estate Director Terence Lacle; front row: Stuco representative Jerome Sardine and legal advisor Roland Duncan. Photo contributed
ORANJESTAD –Statia’s power company Stuco signed a contract on Wednesday for the construction of a 2 Megawatt solar energy park that will provide 20 percent of the island’s power needs and at times have a more than 100 percent renewable energy penetration of the grid.
Stuco signed the contract with Sunshine Real Estate for the engineering, procurement and commissioning of the facility, Sunshine partners for the project with Eco Energy, SMA and Schletter. The Dutch ministry of economic affairs finances the project.
With this project Stuco had embarked on its strategic ambition to focus on renewable energy sources and to scale back its dependency on fossil fuel.
The company said in a press statement that the addition of solar energy to its mix of resources contributes to grid stability through a power management system that is backed up by batteries.
According to Stuco, the use of solar energy on this scale is the first in the industry for a Caribbean island but it is also the vision of many other utilities companies.
Stuco selected Sunshine Real Estate through a tender process that began with a feasibility study, followed by requests for proposals. Seventeen companies from around the world entered the tender and seven of them submitted a proposal.
Stuco wants to complete the project by the end of this year, “barring unforeseen delays due to weather, shipping and delivering logistics.”