Barbados’ Bold Leap to 100% Renewable Power: Unveiling a 60 MW Community Solar Revolution

Barbados is set to realize its vision of a sustainable energy future with the finalization of plans to construct a 60 MW portfolio of community solar gardens. The project, spanning 50 sites across the island-state, is a significant step towards achieving the goal of powering Barbados with 100% renewables by 2030, supplementing the existing 30 MW solar portfolio.

German-based Jurchen Technology, specializing in manufacturing racking and direct current (dc) cabling for solar power plants, has joined forces with Barbados’ renewable energy developer, Blue Circle Energy, in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bring this ambitious solar generation initiative to life. The collaboration will see the deployment of ground-mounted panels utilizing Jurchen Technology’s PEG EW (PEG) racking solution, designed at an 8-degree tilt to optimize land yield, outperforming traditional trackers and fixed tilt systems by 225%.

The PEG system’s angular design minimizes spacing between modules, maximizing efficiency. Additionally, the racks, strategically positioned at waist height, boast an aerodynamic blueprint engineered to withstand extreme hurricane winds. The portfolio will incorporate battery energy storage systems (BESS), with ongoing discussions about their integration into Barbados’ primary grid or distribution across the project’s 50 community solar gardens. Tariff rates for BESS remain under consideration, with a decision expected before project construction commences in 2024.

View our Commercial Land for Sale in Barbados

Gully Ridge, St James. Prime Development Land with Planning Permission

Barbados, committed to becoming the first 100% renewable energy and carbon-neutral island-state by 2030, outlined its vision in the National Energy Policy document. The initiative aims to diversify the energy portfolio, promote economic empowerment, and enhance energy independence. By reducing reliance on imported oil, the country aims to allocate funds toward critical infrastructure projects, addressing the fact that 95% of Barbados’ energy supply was imported in 2020, with oil accounting for 92%.

Lisa Cummins, Barbados’ Minister of Energy, hailed the use of Jurchen Technology’s PEG EW racking solution as a significant stride towards achieving renewable energy goals. The Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. contributes to the national grid with a 10 MW per day photovoltaic (PV) solar plant in St. Lucy, complemented by 25 MW of customer-owned solar rooftop generation.

Despite the lower hurricane risk in Barbados, climate change poses potential threats. The solar-plus-storage plant’s spatial design aims to enhance grid resilience in the face of unpredictable weather patterns, ensuring continuous electricity access for residents even in the event of single-point losses due to storms.

View our Commercial Land for Sale in Barbados

Canewood commercial land with approval for solar & shopping mall

Beyond energy generation, the community solar garden initiative incorporates an agrivoltaic approach, allowing approximately 300 sheep to graze across 30 sites. This aligns with Barbados’ unwritten policy promoting dual-use of clean energy generation sites.

Cameron Steinman, President of Blue Circle Energy, estimates that the project will generate employment for 20 to 50 individuals during the three-year construction phase, with ongoing jobs in BESS maintenance and security asset management post-construction. Blue Circle Energy funds the development phase, while Sol Ecolution, an international hotelier, takes on costs associated with equipment, contractors, and the 20-year ownership of the solar portfolio.

View our Commercial Land for Sale in Barbados

View all of our Properties for Sale in Barbados

Compare listings