The cost of fossil fuels that we use to power our homes will only continue to rise as supplies dwindle worldwide. Electricity is already costly in the Cayman Islands, and as small Caribbean countries don’t have the bargaining power of larger countries, they will be the hardest hit as oil reserves become more limited. Cayman’s goal of obtaining 25% of its power from renewable resources by 2025 has raised discussion for alternative ways of doing this.
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300ft wind turbines have been considered, yet face problems with height restrictions of 250ft anywhere within a 10 mile radius of the airport. There are also concerns that their height would interfere with Cayman’s Doppler radar station.
Other renewable energy sources proposed include the world’s first ocean thermal energy conversion plant. Concerns surrounding this were that it was not yet commercially proven, and therefore risky, and also that it would not be financially feasible. Solar power currently remains a trusted option for renewable energy.
The Cayman Islands has almost 365 days of sunshine, like most Islands in the Caribbean. Harvesting energy from the sun should be "the" solution for home and business owners who want to reduce the money they spend monthly on utilities, and significant improvements are being made in the solar energy industry every year.
Solar energy can be harvested in two ways: solar photovoltaic (PV), which converts sunlight into electricity and solar thermal, which heats water. Solar PV systems come in thin films, panels or tiles and are usually placed on roofs. With the high cost of electricity in the Cayman Islands, they should pay for themselves in six to eight years.
Currently the Government does not offer subsidies as an incentive when switching to solar power, but it’s worth knowing that CUC has an initiative called the Consumer Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) Programme, whereby CUC will buy alternative energy from independent sources. So if you have solar panels or other renewable energy sources generating electricity for your home or business and meet programme requirements, Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) will buy that power from you at a very fair rate. For more information contact CUC on (345) 949 5200 or see their website for details on the programme: www.cuc-cayman.com/renewal-energy. Another encouraging point to note is that renewable energy equipment such as solar panels are in fact duty-free for residential homeowners.
The company below provides a wide range of services and sells energy storage systems, off-grid solar systems and solutions.
Solar Power Storage
Despite Cayman's many sunny days, you will need to consider an alternative source of power should there be no sun. One such option is the Tesla Powerwall battery.
These rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are wall mounted and can be stored either outside your home or inside your garage. Tesla Powerwall batteries can help provide financial savings by charging and storing energy. They also assure power in the event of a power outage, instead of having to use a generator.
Home Energy Storage Systems
Another option for creating sustainable energy is the use of home energy storage systems. They allow you to power your home off the grid and are small enough to fit inside a room closet!
Home energy storage systems use intelligent technology to power your home if you need to be off the grid. They can be particularly useful during hurricane season and the odd power outage.
Home energy storage systems can be easily adapted to your individual needs and are compact enough to fit inside a room closet. The following company can help:
Creating solar farms and possibly wind farms in the Cayman Islands would lessen our dependency on fossil fuels and decrease the $153 million we spend on importing diesel fuel each year. CUC’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which was approved in early 2019, outlines the transition from diesel energy to more renewable sources by 2045.
Solar energy proves to be a logical solution, and there are talks of CUC creating four or five 20 MW solar plants. However, with only around 5% of CUC’s energy currently coming from renewable sources, to reach the 25% mark by 2025 they need to get building – fast.
The Island’s only solar farm, the Bodden Town Solar Farm, has been operational since July 2017. It was acquired by BMR Energy, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, in December 2018 making it the company’s fourth renewable energy project in the Caribbean. The 22-acre farm now produces five megawatts of Cayman’s 100 megawatt requirement. The 21,690 panel facility generates electricity which feeds into CUC’s grid and powers over 1,800 homes. Although the price of energy is not expected to change significantly, by producing renewable energy, the farm reduces the use of diesel fuel and the associated emissions into the atmosphere cutting the Island’s carbon footprint.
Health City Cayman has also begun building its own private 1.2 megawatt solar farm, which will generate electricity, as well as cold and hot water. It will be the first solar generator not linked to CORE.
The solar panel installers in Cayman design and install each system to perfectly suit your home, budget, and electricity needs.