354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110
Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750
The BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) continues to make significant strides as it relates to the Territory’s clean energy transition to utilizing more renewable energy.
In January 2021, BVIEC was successful in obtaining a grant from the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean (CSES-S) Fund, being administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for technical assistance in supporting BVIEC with project preparation of a Climate Resilient Energy Infrastructure Project in the Paraquita Bay area, aimed at improving the resilience of the Territory’s national transmission grid infrastructure by placing the sole portion of BVIEC’s transmission network underground, and adding a Renewable Energy Generation and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facilities.
The micro-grid, once constructed, can be used to supply critical infrastructure in the Paraquita Bay area, such as Seven Seas Water Plant, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, the Bar Bay Water Plant. Whereas, undergrounding the transmission network will significantly improve the resilience of that infrastructure should the Territory ever be affected by an extreme weather event as what was experienced in 2017.
BVIEC has to date completed the Request For Qualifications (RFQ) process and site assessments such as geotechnical investigation for this exercise. Tender documents are currently being developed for release to the following seven (7) companies which were pre-qualified to bid on this project:
1. K-Line Maintenance & Construction
2. SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH
3. Valard Construction LP
4. China Machinery Engineering Corporation
5. DHYBRID Power Systems
6. Sino Soar Hybrid (Beijing)
7. Compass Solutions International
Madam Speaker recognizing that this project was able to attract grant funding from one of the G7 nations, the project has been getting international attention due to the fact it aligns perfectly with particular climate change mitigation objectives.
In the area of small scale renewable energy generating systems or distributed generated systems, which are systems that residential or commercial customers can install on their homes or businesses and have a grid-tie arrangement which feeds excess energy on to BVIEC’s gird network. To date BVIEC has processed and approved seventeen (17) Small Scale Renewable Energy Interconnection applications totaling approximately 450 Kilo Watts (KW) which is equivalent to the current power capacity on the sister island of Anegada. Of the 17 applications processed and approved nine (9) are presently grid-tied and feeding excess energy on BVIEC’s grid which are:
1. Bregado Flax Educational Center (Virgin Gorda)
2. Leonora Delville Primary School (Tortola)
3. BVI Health Services Authority/JVD Clinic (Jost Van Dyke)
4. Enis Adams Primary School (Tortola)
5. Francis Lettsome Primary School (Tortola)
6. Guavaberry Spring Bay Ltd (Virgin Gorda)
7. Youth Empowerment Project (Tortola)
8. Charles Smith (Virgin Gorda)
9. Ivan Dawson Primary School (Tortola)
Madam Speaker, the BVIEC presently has six applications under review; once those are processed and approved there will exist approximately 700KW of distributed generation systems functioning within the BVI.
The BVI has a comprehensive legal framework to support the development of renewable energy within the Territory and any person(s) discovered as having installed and operating a renewable energy generating facility without the requisite approvals will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As we all know, electricity can kill and we must at all cost ensure the safety of and protect our utility workers at BVIEC and citizens of this territory from persons who wish to take reckless actions which endanger them.
Madam Speaker, major equipment for the Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy & Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) Project is scheduled to arrive in BVI during the first quarter of 2023. Unfortunately, this project was not immune from the global pandemic which created global manufacturing and supply chain disruptions and created tremendous challenges with acquiring equipment and material; which was further affected as a result of the current geopolitical conflict taking place between Russia and Ukraine.
Despite all these challenges project completion is slated for the fourth quarter of 2023.
BVIEC was recently awarded grant funds from Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity (RESEMBID) Programme for Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories to assist with the development of a Climate Resilient Energy Infrastructure Project on the island of Virgin Gorda. Now that these funds have been awarded it is hoped that discussions can finally commence regarding BVIEC leasing some property on Virgin Gorda so as to commence the exercise of developing this project similar to the one being developed utilising the Canadian grant funds at Paraquita Bay.
In closing, Madam Speaker, BVIEC trusts that the Government of the Virgin Islands will be pleased with the volume of work which has been performed to date, to position the BVI as a regional leader, as it relates to its clean energy transmission.
Madam Speaker, I thank you.