Lightsource bp gets go-ahead for ‘first’ large-scale solar project in Trinidad and Tobago

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The consortium between Shell, bp and Lightsource bp came together in response to a government request for proposal. Image: Lightsource bp.

Lightsource bp has been given the green light to begin development on what it said will be Trinidad and Tobago’s first large-scale solar project, a 148MWp plant located across two sites.

The government of Trinidad and Tobago approved the project last week, to be developed and executed by a consortium between Lightsource bp, bp Alternative Energy Trinidad and Tobago and Shell Renewables Caribbean. It is the first joint project between the three entities.

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The 148MW total is split over two sites, Brechin Castle (122MWp) and Orange Grove (26MWp), the latter of which will see bp and Shell collaborate with the University of the West Indies. Construction is expected to begin in Q1 2023, and operations in Q3-4 2024.

“This consortium is a clear demonstration of how energy companies can combine experience and skill sets to support national decarbonisation targets,” said Kareen Boutonnat, Lightsource bp’s CEO of EMEA and APAC.

“We’re proud to apply our development, engineering, finance and new market entry experience to realise Trinidad and Tobago’s large-scale solar ambitions through this partnership and act as an enabler for the country’s energy transition.”

The consortium has reached a final investment decision to begin construction of the project, with bp and Shell initially holding joint 50/50 stakes. A deal was also signed with the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, a state-owned sustainability agency, for the option to take up a stakeholding.

The project came about in response to the Trinidadian government’s request for proposal (RFP), seeking projects to contribute to the country’s commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector by 15% by 2030.

Shell and bp, as significant players in the country’s energy industry, will provide industry and regional expertise, whilst Lightsource bp will head up the management and execution of the solar project.

Last week, Lightsource bp reached financial close on 515MW of Australian solar projects. The company has also recently been praised by the US government for ‘driving demand for made-in-America solar’ after building 2.1GW of solar in the country.

Fellow Caribbean nation Puerto Rico issued an RFP earlier this year, seeking 500MW of renewables capacity and 250MW of battery storage.

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