The solar photovoltaic and lithium‐ion battery energy storage system would provide clean and reliable energy for St. Kitts and Nevis residents


Image: The construction of solar and energy storage project is expected to start in October 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

Leclanché, a Switzerland-based energy storage company, along with the St. Kitts and Nevis’ state-owned St. Kitts Electric Company (SKELEC) has announced the construction of a solar generation plus energy storage project in the Caribbean.

The project, which will include a 35.6 MW solar energy plant and a 44.2MWh battery storage facility, is planned to be constructed on a site provided by the government in the Basseterre Valley, adjacent to the City of Basseterre and the current SKELEC PowerStation on the island of St. Kitts.

In contrast to the current diesel-generated power system, the project is designed to provide a reliable and renewable clean energy source with fixed cost savings for the residents of the Caribbean twin-island Federation.

In addition, the project marks the largest solar generation plus energy storage project in the Caribbean, and provides 25-30% of the current power generation needs in the country, displacing the diesel-generated capacity.

Leclanché will be the primary EPC contractor for the project

Leclanché said that it will serve as the prime engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the installation of both the solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery energy storage system (BESS).

In addition, the project has recently secured government approval for the allocation of land, which is provided under a lease between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the project company.

Leclanché CEO Anil Srivastava said: “We want to thank Prime Minister Timothy Harris, Public Infrastructure Minister Liburd, the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis, and the SKELEC Board and Executive Team for their tremendous vision, cooperation and efforts in support of this exciting project.

“This project marks the first time a megawatt-scale solar energy system, stabilized by a state-of-the art lithium battery energy storage system, can be utilized to provide true ‘base load’ power for a utility on a Caribbean island. It sends a strong signal to other Caribbean countries, and those around the world, that there is a cleaner, more cost-efficient and viable alternative to diesel power.”

The company said that it has signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SKELEC, and formed a St. Kitts special purpose vehicle (SPV) with the local partner Solrid, to fund, own and operate the project.

Once operational, Leclanché is expected to take charge of the management of all project operations, maintenance and equipment warranties.

The construction of solar and energy storage project is expected to start in October 2019, and completed in September 2020.