Gebe signs letter of intent for solar panels project

POSTED: 09/7/16 9:35 AM

St.maarten—The management of Utilities Company Gebe and Sunshine Real Estate signed a letter of intent yesterday to supply the island with two megawatts of solar energy. Gebe wants to create a solar park at the two parking facilities on the Walter Nisbeth Road and on the roof of its power plant building.

One of the reasons for creating the solar park is to gradually move away from the fossil fuels Gebe currently uses towards clean solar energy. If all goes well, Gebe will expand solar capacity to 4 to 6 Megawatt.

Managing Director of Sunshine Real Estate Terrence Laclé who won the bid to have the solar panels installed, said that the project was discussed since 2014 and expressed his gratitude to the board and management of Gebe for opportunity to make it a reality.

Vromi-Minister Angel Meyers said that St. Maarten is one of the first islands in the Caribbean that expressed its intention to move towards renewable energy and now “we are lagging behind.” He pointed out that his vision is to move forward as soon as possible and gradually move away from fossil fuels. The initial plan is to cover the parking areas along the Walter Nisbeth road with solar panels.

He explained that this will create shade for cars and security which could only be described as a “win, win situation for all.” There is also possibilities of placing solar panels on school buildings.

Chairman of the supervisory board Roy Marlin said that he hopes that with the signing of the letter of intent it will work out into a definite contract. He indicated that there is still some work to be done such as the design, the numbers for the exact pricing; parties are committed to have the final contract signed in about 30 days.

Marlin and members of the board visited solar parks in Saba and Statia that were done by Sunshine Real Estate and they were “very impressed” with the work that was done. Now that the letter of intent has been signed the principals of Sunshine Real Estate will sit with the Board of Gebe and work out the final details so that the contract could be signed, said Marlin.

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