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Minnis Wants Solar Homes For Everyone

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis says his vision for The Bahamas is that every home becomes self-sustaining power stations with the use of solar technology.

Dr Minnis believes it could lead to the creation of a new industry where homeowners can sell their solar power back to the power company. However, he noted there would have to be a limit associated with it to prevent hoarding for investment purposes by the wealthy.

“I would like to see a Bahamas where every home - where a new industry can be developed - where every home, every quarter can look forward to receiving a cheque from the power company - $100, $200 and $300,” he said.

“But you must have some form of limit so individuals don’t use it as a form of investment. The rich can use it as a form of investment and replace the power station. That’s my dream that everybody, every home be they in impoverished areas, or not, but that is my dream. “

Dr Minnis was speaking with reporters in Grand Bahama last week when asked about new proposed project by a Bahamian company to build two Firm Solar Plants on Grand Bahama.

Northern Bahamas Utilities Holding Co Ltd has made application to the government to construct multi-million dollar solar plants in West Grand Bahama, and East Grand Bahama, which will be phase two.

The company plans to acquire 51 acres of land in Pelican Lakes, southwest of the West End settlement.

The proposed project is expected to lower the cost of electricity, and any surplus power would be sold to the Grand Bahama Power Company via a purchase agreement.

The 1993 agreements signed between the Bahamas government and the GBPC allowing the power company to provide and sell electricity to areas outside of Freeport is expected to expire this year, and civic group Coalition of Concerned Citizens has asked government not to renew the agreements with the foreign power company, but to consider approving the proposed solar plants by the NBU, a 100 percent Bahamian owned company.

When asked about whether the West End and East End Agreements would be renewed, and about the application for the proposed solar plants, Dr Minnis indicated the Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator Kwasi Thompson would provide details concerning the matter.

However, he expressed a strong desire to see solar-equipped homes throughout the country. “In terms of solar I have a vision for The Bahamas concerning renewable energy,” he said. “Solarisation is improving aggressively, technology is improving aggressively - we not only have solarise roof panels, but tiles etc.

“I would like to see every home in The Bahamas become what you call a self-contained power station, meaning that you can generate all the electricity from solar panels, roof tiles, walls etc, and they can connect to the power grid so that any excess energy the power grid obtain from them they can give them back and the excess power grid can pay them back.”

The prime minister said that homeowners would be able to collect money from the power gird. “That’s my dream for every body; every home be they in impoverished area or not,” he said.

NBU’s project is estimated at some $30m. It will use 24,000 solar panels, backed up with 10 megawatts of propane generators. The plant will be able generate some six million watts or six megawatts of power.

The company claims its solar proposal can reduce energy costs by 30-40 percent, and create some 50-85 jobs, if it is allowed to supply power to East and West End.

Earlier in the year, Dr Carlton Bosfield, principal of Northern Bahamas Utilities (NBU), told Tribune Business that its planned investment in two utility-scale solar plants would ultimately enable residents in both areas to “own a piece of their energy.”

Mr Bosfield disclosed that NBU, founded by ex-Grand Bahama Power Company (GB Power) executives, had been working for three years to realise an opportunity that depends entirely on the government ending their former employer’s 25-year monopoly.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 7 months, 4 weeks ago

What a croc of nanny....

CAN WE PLEASE GET A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE ON THIS TRUMP WANNA BE????????

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TalRussell 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma comrade, think it has be in lane way PeoplePpublic, who will have first put squeeze Papa Hubert in coo-hoots with the Peoples Her Excellency Marguerite, to fire Minnis, KP, along with Carl Wilshire.

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Gotoutintime 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Tal---The Dame's days are numbered--She better act fast!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 4 weeks ago

What most of you don't know is that Minnis has family members and cronies who have a horse in the race to put solar panels on every roof top in the Bahamas.

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ThisIsOurs 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I was looking for you! WTH is this?? We're Moxey and Headtie all over the radio the other day talking about how solar is only good for daytime and everyone to work so that's not a solution??? They'll make a straight line crooked

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watcher 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Colour me confused....if, as the Mad Doc says, every household has a solar panel and generates an excess of electricity then sells the surplus back to the power company......who exactly is left to use all this power? Certainly not any private individuals - they have more than enough for their needs. So we are left with businesses......who surely would demand a reduction in the cost of their supply, as BEC / FPL is basically getting their own juice from we taxpayers. This, of course, means that businesses will be excluded from the scheme, as they and government offices are the only end-of-the-line users left. Which is absurd, because surely the proposal discriminates against businesses having solar panels on their (large) rooftops just like the rest of us. Is Doc a reincarnation of Oprah? YOU get free electricity....YOU get free electricity......YOU get free electricity.

But there's more......."The rich can use it as a form of investment and replace the power station." qouth the Doc, really getting the bit between his teeth. Let's do away with the power company and we can all use each other's solar power. Then who makes sure that the electricity stays on, that the lines are maintained, that bunkers are filled when demand exceeds supply etc etc etc

My head hurts just thinking about the economics of this. Once again the people in "power" issue nonsensical utterances without apparently thinking them through.

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BahamaPundit 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Power has been out in the West since 7 AM today. It is now 5:30 PM and power is still out.

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DonAnthony 7 months, 4 weeks ago

What an absolute crock of crap. BPL has red tape a mile long and frustrates home owners who want to install solar at every turn. They want Bahamians enslaved to their ineptitude and high prices. The Prime Minister can change all this with a five minute phone call. The prime minister should stop lying to the Bahamian people, if he is serious remove the absurdly low kw limits on Bahamians in the family islands and end the red tape, otherwise SHUT UP and stop insulting the intelligence of the Bahamian people.

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sheeprunner12 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Amen ........ and Amen!!!!!!!

No Out Island needs BPL if we had ease of access to install solar/wind power in their homes (without all the red tape).

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The_Oracle 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Me thinks a bit of fundamental education is in order, "selling" excess back to the power co might be nice, but most would be satisfied to zero their own bill. Especially if BPL/BEC is still holding onto their dying horse and URCA is behind the times. No, the grid in Nassau will catastrophically crash long before they get their cumulative arses in gear. Trying to control what existed 10 years ago is futile. Being caught unawares by what exists today is inevitable.

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Bonefishpete 7 months, 4 weeks ago

MBGA, Make Bahamas Great Again? Don't have that ring. I want to believe in solar but $100 - $300 a month output is a stretch. I like the systems but with the salt environment I wonder about reliability and maintenance then you have the hurricane factor.

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The_Oracle 7 months, 4 weeks ago

While the Back feeding limits are ludicrously conservative, and for all the wrong reasons, it does not limit your system size: your property consumption does. It would seem to me that BEC/BPL issue positions convenient to them and their careers, Politicians issue nonsensical statements illustrating their ignorance based on the biased positions of the above, and the public know even less because of the conflicting positions which fly in the face of the irrefutable laws of physics. Utility scale Solar, even if and when BEC/BPL decide it is a good idea, (well proven in the rest of the world, but we are special aren't we?) will be funded as investments by the wealthy. Those who can, will, until government gets in the way. Those who cannot, cannot because the government is already in the way. Good ideas are free: implementation requires inspiration, and the investment of time, tithes or talents, often all three. Open the gates, stand back, Ministry of works inspectors need simply follow the Canadian electrical code,(the code we use) wherein they will find all required aspects neatly written for their edification. That this has even become a political issue defies belief.

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ColumbusPillow 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Lets first compare costs; -SOLAR; $184- $400 -Offshore WIND; $204..a bit unreliable -diesel; $250 -natural gas; $54

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One 7 months, 4 weeks ago

If this is truly a viable approach then convert all government buildings to solar. Then mandate all commercial buildings to produce some percentage of their energy consumption via solar/renewable technology. When industry proves the technology then maybe the general public will adopt it as well. Renewable energy is great however it has yet to be proven that it is a financially wise decision and appropriate for the Bahamas. What happens when you start attaching these panels to your roof? How will they hold up in a hurricane? The average Bahamian doesn't have money to risk.

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TheMadHatter 7 months, 4 weeks ago

So he's just thinking of this after two years? Has he ever heard the name Graham Wratherford? Anybody know how he ever passed his medical exams? Drivers license test, for that matter.

This kind of thing is truly mind boggling. I cannot imagine what goes on in the minds of these MPs. Is surviving a botched brain surgery a requirement to be a candidate?

Seriously, im not trying to be disrespectful. Im just really and truly lost. Did he just arrive in the Bahamas like a week before election and is just playing catch-up on the issues?

I could do a better job with one of my brains tied behind my back.

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