The first three renewable energy projects developed under the US$50 million United Arab Emirates-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) have broken ground in the Bahamas, Barbados and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, according to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC).
Financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the UAE-CREF is the largest renewable energy initiative of its kind in the Caribbean.
The three projects were designed by Masdar with the respective national governments and are all expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2019.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE minister of state for international cooperation, said: “These renewable energy projects underway in the Bahamas, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines further make the business case for sustainable development and UAE-Caribbean cooperation. They will create jobs and reduce energy costs to stimulate the local economy, while also incorporating concrete measures to address the reality of climate and hurricane risk.”
The project in the Bahamas is a 900kW solar PV plant at the national stadium that will also serve as a carport with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, while also standing as the country’s first large-scale PV installation.
In Barbados, the project features both a 350kW PV carport with EV charging stations and a 500kW ground-mounted PV plant. In Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, the Union Island site features a 600kW PV project connected to a 500 kWh lithium-ion battery that is expected to supply all of the island’s daytime power needs.
The combined output of all three projects is tabbed at 2.35MW.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, added: “Masdar is proud to be working alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in the implementation of the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund programme, building on the success of a similar collaboration in the Pacific Islands whose 11 projects continue to benefit local communities today.
“The projects being delivered through the Fund will be engineered to meet the specific needs of each host country, and make an important contribution to the emergence of a commercially viable renewables sector in the Caribbean and the Latin America region.”