To mark the start of its own renewable revolution the Government of Saint Lucia has partnered with Solar Head of State to install solar panels on the public residence of the Governor-General, Government House. Saint Lucia emits just 0.0015% of global carbon emissions, but by leading on renewable energy the island can take a strong moral stance and showcase solutions for larger nations to follow.
The 5.4kW grid-tied system on Government will save over 100 tons of carbon in its lifetime and save the government roughly US$150,000. The Government of Saint Lucia and the local utility, LUCELEC, hope to rapidly increase the number of distributed solar installations in the coming years to help reach the island's target of 35% renewable energy by 2020.
Saint Lucia was among a group of 15 climate vulnerable countries which together became the first nations to ratify the Paris Agreement in April 2016. As a small island developing state (SIDS) Saint Lucia is particularly vulnerable to climate change, facing damage from rising sea levels and increasingly strong and frequent tropical storms.
Solar Head of State assembled an international consortium of project donors from across the clean energy sector to carry out the project. The engineering and construction was donated by British Virgin Islands based Free Island Energy and Saint Lucian companyNoah Energy. Major contributions were received from California-based solar installation company Sungevity and from the California Clean Energy Fund. Panels were donated by manufacturer Trina Solar and inverters from Enphase Energy. Support was also received from Elms Consulting, a London-based strategic consulting firm working to accelerate sustainable development on islands. Australian firms Wattwatchers and Solar Analytics provided system-monitoring expertise and equipment.