Solar Power coming to ST. Croix
The Governor recently announced that St. C will be 100% solar power is 90 days. I don't think this is possible but I wish him luck. Its ridiculous that a location that has sunshine every day of the year doesn't have a major solar power initiative.
Although I believe that he means well, I'm concerned that the governor's rush to 'do something' will make matters worse. By entering a contract with a private company with no transparency or competition, the governor is taking a great risk that could cost the territory a significant amount of money. We have to be honest, his track record isn't very good regarding saving the citizens money.
Energy demand is around 60 MW on STX, and the territory already has a $129M FEMA grant for an 18MW solar microgrid project on STX. They also purchased four 9MW Wartsilla generators that arrived in November but won't be online until 2023 because of the ineptitude of WAPA and the GVI. Anywhere else, the facilities and support structures needed for these generators would have been planned and built in advance of their arrival and they would be tested and online by now instead of being in storage for the next year or so.
Although fast tracking these existing funds projects wouldn't be an instant solution, our dependence on imported fuels would be reduced dramatically.
I agree that solar is a big part of where we need to go, and I'm a 'net producer' of electricity with my solar and battery system. If the governor and WAPA would make it easier for more people to install solar and make it legal for neighborhoods to install microgrids (currently only WAPA can legally share power across property lines), the estimated 42% of power used by residential customers could be provided pretty quickly and sustainably through renewable energy.
I do recall that Telsa put in a battery farm in Australia after weather and fire destroyed their infrastructure. He said they could do it in 90 days which was unbelievable, but he actually did it in 60 days. I think it is between 300-400 megawatts in storage now and that is just one facility. So the battery storage part has been done before in short order. I've also seen wind/solar production farms go up in very short timeframes. Not sure it would be easy or quick to be able to replace the entire island 100% with renewables, but it has been done in some areas of the world quite successfully.
If the entire areas of Scotland, Costa Rica, etc. can be virtually 100% on renewables, no reason we couldn't be. Infrastructure can now be built to withstand storms (windmills survive North Sea storms regularly and solar panels can be built on hurricane proof racks). My biggest concern would be maintenance. Can WAPA or whoever would be responsible for the infrastructure properly maintain it over the long haul.
@vicanuck Yep Mapp promised 26 cent electricity during his election year, that never happened, went right up after he lost. If they cannot put the new generators on STT until next year, what makes anyone think they can do this solar project this year. That's Laughable.