The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Saint Lu­cia Elec­tric­ity Ser­vices Lim­ited (LUCELEC), has re­leased a Re­quest for Pro­pos­als (RFP) for com­pet­i­tive firms to sub­mit bids to de­velop an on-is­land 3 MW so­lar PV pro­ject.

The 3 MW so­lar park will be lo­cated north of the He­wanorra In­ter­na­tional Air­port at La Tour­ney, Vieux Fort and rep­re­sents the first util­ity-scale so­lar PV pro­ject in Saint Lu­cia. The pro­ject is be­ing funded by LUCELEC. Once on­line, the peak so­lar ca­pac­ity is an­tic­i­pated to pro­vide over 5 per­cent of the power gen­er­a­tion needs of the is­land, and will be man­aged by LUCELEC to en­sure con­tin­ued grid sta­bil­ity.

Ear­lier this month, LUCELEC and the Min­istry of Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, En­ergy, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy an­nounced their com­mit­ment to re­new­able en­ergy at the Na­tional En­ergy Tran­si­tion Strat­egy (NETS) sign­ing cer­e­mony.

On Thurs­day Jan­uary 14, LUCELEC signed an agree­ment for the de­vel­op­ment of an In­te­grated Re­source Plan (IRP) with the Govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia. It will make pro­vi­sion for a team of in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tants from Car­bon War Room (CWR), Rocky Moun­tain In­sti­tute (RMI), Clin­ton Cli­mate Ini­tia­tive (CCI) and DNV GL, to as­sist both par­ties in de­sign­ing a vi­able en­ergy tran­si­tion strat­egy for Saint Lu­cia.

The RFP demon­strates quick progress and ded­i­ca­tion by both par­ties to­ward achiev­ing Saint Lu­cia’s en­ergy goals.

Ev­ery CARI­COM mem­ber state ex­hibits sig­nif­i­cant and largely un­ex­ploited po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ing re­new­able en­ergy re­sources. If fully de­vel­oped, th­ese re­sources could trans­form many states into net en­ergy ex­porters.

The LUCELEC RFP so­lic­its bids from En­gi­neer­ing, Pro­cure­ment, and Con­struc­tion (EPC) firms to de­sign and build the so­lar park that will be owned and op­er­ated by LUCELEC. LUCELEC will pro­vide the nec­es­sary sites and util­ity in­fra­struc­ture for the pro­ject, and the RFP de­tails the tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments. The RFP was de­vel­oped with the as­sis­tance of Clin­ton Cli­mate Ini­tia­tive (CCI), RMI-CWR, DNV GL and the Govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia.

CCI and RMI-CWR are neu­tral, ob­jec­tive, non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions with no spe­cial in­ter­ests or pre­ferred ven­dors. The team works with Caribbean part­ners to cre­ate an open, fair and com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place for re­new­ables.

The RFP and all as­so­ci­ated doc­u­ments may be down­loaded at con­tent/lucelec-3-mw-so­larpv-rfp

The St. Lu­cia Wa­ter Re­serve Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (WRMA) says 2015 was the dri­est year for the coun­try in al­most four decades. And farm­ers and other res­i­dents are be­ing ad­vised to plan wa­ter con­ser­va­tion meth­ods in prepa­ra­tion for an­other pro­longed dry spell.

Wa­ter Re­source Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity Of­fi­cer Fitzger­ald John says the dry cli­mate has had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on wa­ter lev­els through­out the is­land.

“Judg­ing from the data we have at the WRMA, and the MET Ser­vices, the rain­fall data for Union, Ge­orge FL Charles and He­wanorra Air­port showed that 2015 was the dri­est year that we’ve had on record for the past 40 years. Also, the SPI [Stan­dard­ized Pre­cip­i­ta­tion In­dex], which is the stan­dard in­dex used to cal­cu­late drought, in­di­cates that [rain­fall is] below av­er­age,” he said.

“So lead­ing up to the dry sea­son [which started De­cem­ber 1], St. Lu­cia ac­tu­ally went into the dry sea­son with a rain­fall deficit.”

A pro­longed dry spell has been pre­dicted for 2016. As a re­sult, farm­ers are be­ing urged to take ini­tia­tive to en­sure that they are pre­pared.

“We are look­ing at plant­ing re­sis­tant crops, dig­ging drainage at the cor­rect height and length, and rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing,” John said.

The World Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Or­ga­ni­za­tion re­cently said 2015 was the warm­est year on record since 1880.

- Caribbean360

Even with the launch of the John Comp­ton Dam Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­ject last year, which is ex­pected to help al­le­vi­ate acute wa­ter short­ages, Saint Lu­cians are be­ing urged to brace them­selves

for se­vere dry spells and wa­ter short­ages in 2016.

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