THE Government of Saint Lucia has expressed its commitment to continue to work towards the development of renewable energy on the island.
That commitment comes after US-based firm, WindTex Energy, disappointingly cancelled plans for a previously announced wind farm on the east coast, less than four months after the new administration gave its commitment to the developer to see the project to a successful completion.
On November 3, 2016, Sustainable Development Minister, Dr. Gale Rigobert, facilitated discussions with the developer and other partners to ensure the smooth continuation of the multi-million dollar development of a 12 megawatts (MW) wind farm in Anse Cannot, Dennery.
Also present at that meeting were staff of the Renewable Energy Division, the Managing Director of Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC), Trevor Louisy and Steve DeWolf of WindTex.
During the meeting, Rigobert gave assurances of the government’s commitment to the project, stating that the proposed wind farm was in keeping with the new administration’s thrust to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
In addition, on December 5, 2016, DeWolf made a presentation to Cabinet and was said to be warmly received, sparking further commitment from the entire Cabinet.
“It is therefore astonishing that the developer has decided to pull out from the proposed project without allowing the process to proceed. As a government, we are deeply disappointed. However, the Government of Saint Lucia is pleased to announce that it is pursuing a suite of new proposals for renewable energy projects, which includes the development of a wind farm,” said Dr.Rigobert, who has responsibility for renewable energy development.
She said government will soon unveil several of these initiatives to the public, most importantly, for the proposed wind farm. Government, the minister said, is looking to give ordinary Saint Lucians the opportunity to invest in and become partners in the development of the project as the new administration believes that Saint Lucians must be given the opportunity to help chart their country’s destiny.
These investments in renewable energy will be guided by the National Energy Transition Strategy (NETS), which was developed in partnership with LUCELEC last year. The NETS is a detailed energy roadmap informed by independent technical analysis that paves the road for a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective and equitable electricity sector using the island’s local resources.