Opinion: SabaElectric has some great plans for the future.

Dear Editor,

SabaElectric is planning to support the introduction of the generation of more renewable energy on Saba. Their plans were communicated to the community through three townhall meetings in The Bottom, Windwardside, and Hell’s Gate. The events were streamed on Facebook so that the world, including me, could learn about the plans.

The presentation was given by the Project Director, David Leonce. David performed as an entertainer. His presentation was professional, flawless, and very enjoyable to listen to. The message led to quite some questions. You can enjoy his presentation and the Q&A session here: https://www.facebook.com/PowerUpSaba?ref=strea

The third solar park would be installed in Giles Quarter. It would get double the size of the one at the airport. The windmills are planned between the old and the new harbor, downwind from the quarry. The Ministry in The Hague and the European Union would be good for 100% of the investment costs.

What if it all would be realized? The Sabans would have to pay 0.24 USD/kW in 2025, i.e., only 30% of the price that their fellow countrymen have to pay in the European Netherlands. SabaElectric expects that the overseas taxpayers will be delighted to subsidize the running of the extra air conditioners. The project is mainly a cost-reduction exercise, possibly leading to enhanced energy consumption instead of conservation.

A 250 kW windmill has a mast length of some 50 m and a rotor diameter of 30m. This could be for example https://windenergysolutions.nl/wes/windturbine-wes-250/. The first proposed location by SabaElectric  is here:

Draw your own conclusions on the realism of SabaElectric’s project.

The Q&A session was even more interesting.

SabaElectric believes that the location of Giles Quarters is ideal because it would be an attraction for tourists and will stimulate the development of businesses in that area.

Using some of the funds for subsidizing the placement of solar panels on private dwellings was not considered a good idea. Although this would be beneficial for the individuals, if it would be a success, then that might become a financial problem for SabaElectric. Hence, it would not be in the interest of SabaElectric to promote private initiatives.

Participants asked if the dust from the quarry would not cause maintenance issues for the windmills. SabaElectric believes that the dust will remain close to the ground, it will not rise as high as the blades, so it will only affect the mast.

The maintenance of the windmills is not considered to be an issue. SabaElectric will train two of its staff to perform that.
Someone had noticed that last week three people were flown in that had activities in the solarpark.  SabaElectric explained that these were experts that checked the proper state of the installation. Apparently, SabaElectric does not have the local expertise to do that themselves. Of course, maintaining windmills will be a piece of cake compared to maintaining a solarpark.

There was a question concerning the location of the windmills. Cove Bay would be a more logical location as the winds are more reliable there. SabaElectric was not in favor of that location because it would spoil the view of some important people living in that area.

Make up your own mind……

Kees Jansen

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EU representatives visit Saba, laud renewable energy projects

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