President Faure reviews progress on solar farm project on Ile de Romainville

08 November 2019 | Energy

President Danny Faure visited the Ile de Romainville Solar Farm this morning. The objective of the visit was to assess the implementation of the first project and obtain onsite updates on how far they have reached with the installation of the photovoltaic (PV) system.

The President was greeted and guided around the site by the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Mr Phillip Morin, Chairman of PUC, Mr Eddie Belle, and member of the PUC Board, Mr Steven Rousseau. As he toured the facilities, the President had the chance to talk to the contractors and consultants of the project and get clarifications on technical aspects of the project. President Faure commended the team for their hard work and progress made despite the various challenges and complexities of such a project.

The Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) embarked on a project in November 2018 to develop a 5MW Solar Farm on Ile de Romainville by the end of 2019. To note, the island already has five wind turbines.

The solar farm is being funded through a concessional loan from IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency) and ADFD (Abu Dhabi Fund for Development), amounting to approximately USD 8.5m, with the remaining from PUC’s equity. The implementation of this project will significantly contribute to the country’s goal to reach its 5% renewable energy target by 2020. Further to this, PUC is investing in a 3.4MWh battery which will be located at Roche Caiman. This initiative will help stabilise the electricity grid and compensate for the fluctuations in the energy output from renewable energy sources.

Work is currently well underway despite the complexity of the project, and challenges caused by the persistent rainy season. However Mr Morin said they anticipated to complete the project by January 2020.

Coexisting with the 5MWp solar farm project on Ile de Romainville is the Democratisation of PV (DPV) project which aims at assisting welfare beneficiaries and government agencies with solar PV technology. This project is also in line with the government’s vision for the energy sector: to have a country powered by clean energy and harnessing more sustainable and cost-effective energy solutions. It is estimated to cost USD 3.6 million for an aggregate capacity of 1.9MW and it is being entirely financed by a grant from the Government of India.

Also present for the visit was the Deputy CEO of PUC, Mr Joel Valmont, representatives of SEFTECH (India) and Complete Energy Solution (CES ); the main contractor of the project.

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