MCWEL Energy Newsletter – July 2017 Edition

In this Edition

Renewable Energy Progress

  1. Stantec delivered Final Report following receipt of Government of Montserrat (GoM) feedback.
  2. Deliverables Report signed off by MCWL & MUL.
  3. Request for Information (RFI) published on Feb 13th, 2017.
  4. 17 respondents supplied information as per the published EPC RFI
  5. RFI Respondent Report submitted to GoM’s procurement Unit, Feb 23rd 2017, with 2 recommendations.
  6. Request for Qualification (RFQ) published on March 24th 2017.
  7. Project Site visit conducted from March 8th – 10th inclusive by Stantec
  8. Two (2) Full Project Team meetings took place involving (MCWL, MUL, Stantec & Carbon War Room)
  9. Hosting of 4 of the 6 bidders on Montserrat, Tuesday, July 12, for the introduction of the phase-1 of the 250KW Solar PV Project.


Montserrat’s Renewable Energy Drive Bringing “Fundamental Change”

Much has been said about Montserrat’s push to have reliable energy become the mainstay in the island’s drive for new industry to sustain its economic revival. This is critical for new industry to take Montserrat serious for the setting up of manufacturing plants, heavy energy consumption ICT based industries such as data/server farms and the likes. Central to this energy push is the policy of going 100% renewable by 2020. This is a vision that has been enacted by Hon Minister Paul J Lewis.
Minister Lewis has however not just been talking about this; both Minister Lewis and his team have been actively making inroads in bringing this vision to fruition.
The Solar Energy 1 Megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery project is very much underway, and works will begin to manifest on the ground very soon for citizens to witness.

“Montserrat, will provide a phased approach to bring down costs to residents on island. Minister Lewis’ vision in this regard is the focus of much attention.”


Minister Lewis’ Work Continues to Receive International Traction

Hon. Minister of Energy Paul Lewis

On Thursday May 25th, 2017, in a piece titled “Microgrids in the Caribbean: Nothing micro about the opportunity” – International Organization with a focus on renewable Energy developments – New Energy Events recognised Montserrat, and the work being done by Minister Lewis and MCWEL, as one of three microgrid projects making waves in the Caribbean!
New Energy Events is an organization that brings together professionals, renewables experts, and finance specialists; with work being conducted across the Americas; Europe; Asia and the Middle East.
In a guest Editorial written by Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D., Rocky Mountain Institute – Carbon War Room – she made mention of Montserrat in the context of new Energy developments across the region, as she highlighted three projects that are at the center of of fundamental change.
This is excellent news for Montserrat’s 100% renewable energy efficiency drive.
In her talking about Montserrat, Kaitlyn stated: “Energy systems around the world are witnessing a shift towards smaller, more sustainable, and more accessible electricity generation and connection options. Microgrids are at the center of this fundamental change, bringing new and innovative business models to the traditional energy model.
A microgrid is a group of distributed energy resources – typically including generation, storage, and demand management capabilities – that function as an independent power system, with the ability to enhance grid resiliency and customer reliability. As the Caribbean moves to cleaner and renewable energy sources, microgrids can help islands achieve carbon emission reductions and improve remote customer access to reliable electricity.
Three recent projects with support from Rocky Mountain Institute – Carbon War Room exemplify the shift away from
traditional diesel-based systems to lower-cost hybrid microgrids. Montserrat will utilize solar, battery energy storage, and geothermal energy in a phased approach to bring down costs while providing sustainable and reliable electricity to all Montserratians.
As the smallest islands build new infrastructure or transition existing systems to renewable microgrids, they are setting a compelling example for what is cost competitive on larger island grids in the Caribbean, and other regions around the world.


Solar PV Project Bidders Visit Montserrat

The Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour and Energy (MCWLE) headed by Hon Minister Paul Lewis and his team on Tuesday, June 12th, 2017, hosted four of the six bidders for the introduction of the phase-1 of the 250 kilowatt Solar PV Project.
The bidders came from various locations to include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the United States of America and Curacao.
According to information shared; “The Primary aim of Tuesday’s activity was to allow the bidders to meet the various stakeholders in the Ministry with responsibility for energy, Ministry of Finance and economic Management, Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL), the Owner’s Engineer STANTEC Consulting Caribbean Limited, and assisting partners Rocky Mountain Institute –Carbon War Room”.
Whilst on island, the bidders were also introduced to the 250 kilowatt Solar PV Project in the context of Montserrat’s energy landscape.
Speaking on the advancement of the 100% Renewable Energy Policy, Honourable Minister Paul Lewis stated that the
concept of the solar component speaks importantly to the vision of 100% renewable penetration on the grid on
Montserrat, by 2020.
In addition, Chris Burgess of International Renewable Energy Agency, Carbon War Room spoke on the vision and policy directive of Minister Lewis and the government of Montserrat.
Managing Director of Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL) David Thompson says one of the important things is that the project is rolled out in phases, and this is something that Montserrat can do presently.


Solar Procurement Overview To Date

So far in the process:

  1. 42 companies expressed interest in the Request for Information (RFI) sent out
  2. 29 companies responded to the Pre-qualification.
  3. 6 companies were shortlisted for the Request for Proposals (RFP)
  4. 4 companies visited Montserrat on Tuesday, June, 11th for site visit.

Purpose of Site visit:

  1. Client to give a general overview of the Request for Proposal.
  2. Bidders having the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification of the Request for Proposal.
  3. Bidders get the opportunity to physically see the proposed sites.

The bidders in attendance were:

  1. Saturn Energy
  2. Eco Energy / SMA
  3. Solar Watt
  4. Salt Energy

In attendance from Government of Montserrat (GoM):

  1. MCWL
  2. MOFEM (Procurement Unit)
  3. MUL
  4. STANTEC Consulting Caribbean Ltd. (Client Engineer)
  5. Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room (Renewable Energy Technical Adviser)

“To transform the economy of Montserrat, energy reliability will have to be one of the key foundations for the island’s economic resurgence.”


Siemens Highlights Montserrat Example at Glasgow Conference

During the recently completed 24th International Conference on Electricity Distribution that took place in Glasgow,
Scotland from 12-15 June 2017, a paper with accompanying poster was presented to delegates in attendance. They were both presented by international company Siemens who were responsible for conducting the PV Intergrated Study on Montserrat, along with CARICOM Energy Unit/GIZ REETA and MCWEL.
This presentation that was made by Siemens is seen as a major Accomplishment according to the Head of CARICOM’s Energy Unit, as it shows the partnership approach that has been championed by Minister of Energy on Montserat, Paul Lewis, in advancing the Montserrat Transition to Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Electric Mobility.
Commenting on the Presentation by Siemens, Minister Lewis stated “We have put much work into our renewable energy thrust here on Montserrat over the course of the last two years. It is really wonderful to see that here on Montserrat our solar energy project is coming along well in its development, and eventual integration into the grid. But also, the recognition that Montserrat has received internationally from key industry players in the renewable energy industry is a true testament to the invaluable work being done by the entire team here on island.”

Why The Renewable Energy Drive Towards 100% by 2020?

What renewable energy will provide for Montserrat is an additional energy source into the National Grid to improve reliability, and also assist in transforming the business development prospects for the island.
The tender for the 1 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery project represents the first phase of two solar project phases on Montserrat.
The first phase will account for 250 kilowatts (kW) of solar capacity. Upon completion, the first solar project will generate 11% of the current peak load or maximum electric power needed.
Then the second phase will begin in early 2018, and consist of an additional 750kW of solar and associated battery storage.

Featured Photo – Solar panels at the Montserrat National Trust

Energy Newsletter produced by the Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy & Labour, Government of Montserrat