ORANJESTAD; On Monday November 23rd, St. Eustatius power company STUCO celebrated the ground breaking of the construction for its solar energy park that will provide over 20 percent of the Island power needs and at times will have more than 100 percent renewable energy penetration on the grid. It is expected to save STUCO around 740.000 liters of diesel a year.

STUCO signed the contract with Sunshine Real Estate for the engineering, procurement and commissioning of the facility. Sunshine partners within the project are Eco Energy, SMA and Schletter. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has financed the major part of the project along with STUCO.

With this project STUCO embarked on its strategic ambition to focus on renewable energy sources and to scale back its dependency on fossil fuel. The company said in a press statement that, the addition of solar energy to its mix of resources contributes to grid stability through a power management system that is backed up by batteries. According to STUCO the use of solar energy on this scale is a first within the industry for a Caribbean Utility as this achievement is also the vision of many other Caribbean Island’s utility companies.

STUCO selected Sunshine Real Estate through an intensive tender process, which began with a feasibility study, followed by requests for proposals. Seventeen companies from around the world entered the tender procedure and seven submitted a substantiated proposal.

STUCO will complete the solar installation by the end of this year 2015 and the commissioning of the full installation with batteries also power management is scheduled for the end of February 2016.