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Harnessing The Elements

THE government is hoping that harnessing solar and wind energy will help solve electricity problems throughout the archipelago.

"We are looking at renewable energy for the future of the Bahamas, particularly in the Exuma Cays, where the environment is very sensitive," said Phenton Neymour, State Minister for the Environment, during a visit to the renewable energy solar and wind farm on Over Yonder Cay.

"First of all in the Family Islands, renewable energy is feasible. When we approached the project from a financial standpoint, that is where the encouragement is," Mr Neymour said.

The $6 million project on Yonder Cay, a two-square mile island north of Staniel Cay, Exuma, has been deemed a success.

"One of the things we did was lower the duty rates on renewable energy and equipment, so that was an investment there and encouraged the project from a financial standpoint," said Mr Neymour.

He said the project is expected to have paid for itself in five to six years.

Powering the small developing island are three permanent magnet wind turbines and a field of solar photovoltaic panels that are connected to a 540-battery backup system.

Managed through a computer monitored by a company in Malaysia, the system is designed to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity.

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