The Bahamas’ first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which was developed by Masdar in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, has won a prestigious award in the United States.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium 925kW Solar PV Carport Power Plant in Nassau, the Bahamas, was developed under the US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) initiative, the largest renewable energy initiative of its kind in the Caribbean region.
The project won the “Distributed Generation Project” award at the 11th Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), which was held recently in Miami, in the US.
“We continue to be impressed by the number of innovative clean energy projects emerging from the Caribbean,” said Julie Taylor, Portfolio Director of New Energy Events, the organiser of CREF. “This year, we noticed a big uptick in the number of microgrids and distributed energy projects, demonstrating the increasing role of solar and storage in the region. At the same time, we’ve seen important utility-scale projects setting new standards for what’s possible in the region.”
The Minister of Environment and Housing, Romauld Ferreira, received the award on behalf of the Bahamas Government.
The 925kW solar array, which was inaugurated in March this year, displaces an estimated 310,000 litres of diesel per year, saving the Bahamian government about US$350,000 and offsetting 856 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The project also sets a new resilience benchmark as it is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and winds of up to 160 miles per hour.
Developed in partnership with the Bahamas Ministry of Environment and Housing, with initial concept support from the Rocky Mountain Institute, the project additionally serves as a carport with 342 parking spaces, including two spaces that are equipped with fast-charging electric vehicle charging stations.
Launched at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017, UAE-CREF aims to deploy renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean countries in three cycles to reduce energy costs, increase energy access and enhance climate resilience.