On 12 August 2014,ExCo agreed to the allocation of £1m of extra funding to build a newsolar farm for electricity generation on St Helena.The new funding has been identified specifically to support only renewable energy projects, and must be spent in this financial year, 2014/15. ExCo was very supportive of this proposal as solar generated electricity reduces the Island’s reliance on diesel imports for power generation.
This new project will place St Helena at the forefront of renewable energy technology, and work to identify the most suitable site on the Island has now been completed.
Currently, approximately 20% of St Helena’s energy comes from wind power, with the remaining 80% from diesel.Decreasing the use of diesel and increasing the use of natural sources of energy benefits St Helena’s economy and reduces our dependency on imports.The first phase of the solar farm will increase renewable energy capacity on the Island to close to 30%, putting St Helena way ahead of the UK with regards to clean energy. Producing solar energy also aligns generation with peak day time demand.
Connect SaintHelenaLtd is now submitting a Planning Application for a large solar farm around the current site of the rifle range at HalfTreeHollow.This siteis earmarked for commercial development and has been initially identified from a number of possible locations. A replacement rifle range is also under consideration.
The normal consultation process has now begun,with all stakeholders,including local businesses and the Rifle Association to be fully consulted. Public meetings are also planned.
Trevor Graham,Director of the Environment& Natural Resources Directorate,said:
‘While many countries around the world talk about the need to increase renewable energy, few are making actual and major progress. Global leaders on renewable energy are often cities and islands,such as the Marshall Islands in the Pacific and Samso off the coast of Denmark. We intend to learn from these and others.
‘This is an exciting opportunity for St Helena and a major step towards becoming self- sufficient in energy.’
Further details will be provided in due course.
SHG & Connect Saint Helena Ltd
10 September 2014