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Newtown Bay Road, Basseterre, St. Kitts, W.I.

St. Kitts power grid now being fed by green energy

Solar panels mounted close to the ground and at an angle designed to best withstand rain and hurricane force winds

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  The public electricity grid on St. Kitts is for the first time being supplied with energy from a renewable source, a one megawatt solar farm at the RLB Airport.

A joint venture between the governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan, the St. Christopher Air and Seaports Authority (SCASPA), the SIDF and SKELEC, the plant was constructed to provide electricity to SCASPA.

Speaking at the official opening of the solar farm on the eve of Independence Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil explained that the plant would produce more energy per year than SCASPA needed for its operations.

Constructed in about six months by Taiwanese company SpeechTech, the 2.5 million US dollar investment in the farm is expected to save SCASPA in the region of US$800,000.00 annually, while reducing the debt that the authority has accumulated, as a result of infrastructural investment.

Lucas Chiu the General Manager of SpeechTech said Wednesday that the plant – under warranty for twenty five years - would pay for itself in about five.

The solar panels are mounted close to the ground and at an angle them allows them to better stand up to hurricane force wind and rain, and the reinforced concrete base is designed to withstand 3000 lbs of pressure per square inch.  A cable connects the system to the internet and to feed information into a database to monitor the performance of the plant.

The panels, which are mounted on the northern side of the airport runway, are according to Mr. Chi, designed to be aesthetically pleasing; they bear lettering which reads ‘Welcome to St.  Kitts,’ which is visible from the air.

Speedtech opened a solar energy factory in St. Kitts in June, which expects to export solar panels and other solar applications throughout the Caribbean.

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