With tightening gas supply, Trinidad turns to solar for energy mix

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With electricity rates among the lowest in the region, making Trinidad a coveted investment destination, it has been difficult to see incentives to decarbonise the nation’s energy with alacrity. Gas has been powering this success for years.

But as gas supply tightens to its lowest point in 18 years, the country has met a milestone for a new solar project. Shell, bp and Lightsource bp have been given the all-clear from the government to commence construction on what is being touted as the largest solar project in the Caribbean.

Construction for the grid-scale renewable energy project is slated for Q1 2023. It is expected to be operational in Q3 and Q4 2024. Shell and bp will initially have joint shareholdings (50/50).

Francis Mann, Lightsource bp’s Business Development Manager for UK and T&T, indicated that the project will begin construction by March 2023, lasting for an estimated 10 months.

T&T looking to play leading role in regional clean energy transition – Rowley | OilNOW

The project will be constructed at two sites; one in Brechin Castle, near the Point Lisas industrial estate, and the other in Orange Grove, near Trincity. Both sites will have the combined capacity to generate a total of 112.2 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity – said to be more than the total generating capacity of most islands in the Eastern Caribbean.

Now, with the agreements signed, T&T’s Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Stuart Young noted that future projects will come onstream quicker. He urged parties involved to accelerate the pace of delivery, citing the long delays faced in the past.

Minister Young was keen to note as well that the project will “unlock great potential for T&T” to decarbonize and start generating green electrons, which could link to the creation of green hydrogen, green ammonia and even green methanol.

The project partners also signed an implementation agreement with the T&T government, a power purchase agreement with the state utility company, T&TEC and a final investment decision.

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