Swiss battery maker Leclanche SA (SWX:LECN) and its Saint Kitts and Nevis government partners last week launched construction of a solar-plus-storage project in the Caribbean island nation.
The USD-70-million (EUR 57.6m) project will build a 35.7-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and a 14.8-MW/45.7-MWh lithium-ion battery storage system, which are set to become the largest facility of this kind in the Caribbean, according to Leclanche.
The Swiss company is taking on duties of the prime engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and will own and operate the facility through its subsidiary SOLEC Power Ltd with local partner Solrid Ltd. Leclanche’s integrated turn-key solution will include the company’s proprietary energy management system software.
Spain-based Grupotec Servicios Avanzados SA has been hired to serve as the main subcontractor.
Once online, the solar-plus-storage system will operate under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state-owned St. Kitts Electric Company (SKELEC), charging a flat rate for the entire period.
Leclanche is building the plant on a 102-acre (41.3 ha) government on land in Basseterre Valley, next to an existing SKELEC power station and the capital city of Basseterre. The company said it had leased the land, formerly a sugar cane production site, from the government under a 20-year agreement, automatically renewable for five years.
Currently, Saint Kitts relies on diesel generators for power, with fuel being delivered on tankers on a weekly basis, Leclanche said. The new clean energy project is expected to cut diesel use by 30% to 35%, while lowering CO2 emissions by more than 740,000 metric tonnes over its lifetime.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.823)
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