Solar and electric vehicles projects in Barbados, energy policy expected in coming weeks

A $50 million UAE grant program will help fund two new solar projects in Barbados. The first project is a 500 kW ground-mounted solar PV project at the Bowmanston pumping station in St. John. The project will reduce the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) energy consumption by 20% reduce yearly cost by $500,000. 

The second project is a 500 kW solar electric vehicles project at the carpark at the Lakes Folly site in Bridgetown with the aim of charging a minimum of 12 electric vehicles. BWA project engineer, Nathan Hart, remarked that the project will transform the idea of electric vehicle parking. “You can pay a dollar per hour and charge your vehicle,” said Hart. “It’s like parking your vehicle in a gas station and filling it for free.”

Hart said the solar carpark will encourage the use of electric vehicles on the island and will be used to reduce the operational costs at the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant by about $40,000 a year. 

News of an updated energy policy came from Jehu Wiltshire, Permanent Secretary in the Division of Energy and Telecommunications on Friday, November 17, 2017 during the project announcement. 

Wiltshire said the national energy policy should be announced in “a week’s time” and embraces the move toward Barbados becoming fully renewable. Wiltshire said the national energy policy has a twenty-year planning horizon, scheduled to be fully implemented by 2037.