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Solar Watts Goes to Mustique

Solar Watt Systems Inc: Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean

In the sun-soaked landscapes of the Caribbean, Solar Watt Systems Inc is earning accolades for its pioneering work in transforming the renewable energy discourse; specifically turning the island of Mustique into a solar-powered haven. Beyond their commitment to harnessing renewable energy is changing the game for Small Island Developing States (SIDS); embracing the abundant sunshine to reduce energy dependency and enhance power consistency.

Mustique’s Solar Triumph: Pioneering Sustainable Energy

Solar Watt Systems Inc. has firmly etched its name in the history of sustainable energy through the successful transformation of Mustique. The establishment of a solar-powered microgrid at Grand Bay is a testament to the company’s ingenuity. This microgrid, featuring a 5,200 kW/10,000 kWh battery system, and an impressive 7,000 kWp utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plant, supported when necessary by a 10,680 kVA diesel plant, marks a groundbreaking achievement.

Mustique’s recent ability to rely exclusively on PV energy for 18 hours during a trial run in May 2023 speaks volumes about the reliability and consistency of Solar Watt’s installations. By harnessing the abundant Caribbean sunlight, Solar Watt Systems Inc. empowers small island communities like Mustique to utilise their own resources effectively. The PV plant, complemented by a robust battery system, ensures Mustique’s residents enjoy a consistent power supply even during periods of low sunlight. This innovative approach is crucial for building local resilience, particularly in the face of the challenges posed by climate change.

The recent completion of an additional 3 MW installation has led to a noteworthy reduction of approximately 30% in Mustique’s reliance on fossil fuels. An additional 1.1 MW is currently under construction at the Lagoon Project, furthering the island’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions.

Island-Wide Impact: A Reduction in Fuel Dependency

Across the entire island, the total installed capacity now stands at an impressive 7 MW, translating to a significant 70% reduction in fuel dependency. It’s important to note that this percentage may vary based on demand, and the current trend suggests an approximate 10% reduction for every additional 1 MW installed.

Justin Providence, Senior Engineer Manager at The Utilities and Renewables Energy Department of the Mustique Company, commended Solar Watt Systems Inc. for their quick and effective installation. He emphasised the importance of maintaining the island’s aesthetic, a key goal for the installation team, all while adhering to budget constraints.

Executing such a complex project in the Caribbean posed unique challenges in terms of logistics, technical expertise, and coordination. Solar Watt Systems Inc. took on the challenge with a pioneering spirit, emphasising their belief in the capabilities of local talent. The EPC contract undertaken by Barbadians for this venture stands as a testament to the intelligence and proficiency of the Barbadian workforce. The technical intricacies involved in bringing together a utility scale battery system, photovoltaic (PV) plant, and a diesel plant required a highly intelligent team. SWSI wishes to acknowledge their invaluable engineering expertise along with their dedicated installation teams, their warehouse staff and managers like Richard Moore, and Daniel Christie who were integral to overcome logistical challenges and project managers Navendra Singh and Joshua Roach who were responsible for the daily operations at the site, without whom this remarkable project would not have been possible. These teams worked in collaboration with Ralph Adams and Josh Mckeever from ACI engineering, who showcased technical engineering skills, ensuring the success of this groundbreaking project.

Recognizing Solar Watt’s Continued Impact

Beyond the iconic commercial Mustique project, Solar Watt Systems Inc. also specialises in residential photovoltaic installations, further underscoring their role as local leaders. The energy dependency and consistency challenges faced are substantial, but with SWSI’s technical expertise, Barbadians have options! Many of SWSI’s residential installations have been coupled with battery energy storage systems, to reduce the extremely high electricity tariffs.

Solar Watt’s commitment to pioneering sustainable solutions is not just transforming individual islands; it’s sparking a region-wide shift towards cleaner and more resilient energy practices. As the company continues to make strides in the renewable energy sector, its impact resonates far beyond the shores of Mustique, illuminating a path toward a more sustainable and eco-conscious future for the entire Caribbean region.