SEC celebrates ten years as a stand-alone electric company

Saba Electric Com­pany NV (SEC) is celebrat­ing its tenth year as a stand­alone electricity company, after being officially divided from NV GEBE on January 1, 2014.

To mark the occasion, an official ceremony and gath­ering for the public was hosted outside SEC’s main office in The Bottom last Friday.

Front row, from left: Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, SEC President Director David Le-once, Supervisory Board members Coulton Johnson and Bettina Schroeter raise their glasses as SEC Managing Director Mark Zagers leads attendees in a toast to mark SEC’s 10th anniversary.

SEC President Director David Leonce said in his ad­dress to the gathering that the company had notably advanced since its ceremo­nial return to the people of Saba. “It is a moment of pride for all who have played a significant part in this journey,” he said.

He gave special recogni­tion to former minister and shareholder for St. Maarten Theo Heyliger, former En­ergy Commissioner for Saba Chris Johnson, past Manag­ing Director Charles Dexter Johnson and past Superviso­ry Board members Ray Has­sell, Roy Smith and Roland Van der Pouw who helped in the transition.

“It would be amiss to not acknowledge and mention the visionary pioneers of Saba Electric Company, Ms. Atthello M. Edwards and Mr. Elmer Linzey who were the founders and operators of Saba Electric Company during the period of 1962­1968,” he added.

Leonce said that SEC’s embracing opportunities to decarbonise energy produc­tion and become a more sustainable energy provider has allowed the company to emerge as a leader in the electricity utility industry in the Caribbean.

Reflecting on key mile­stones, he highlighted SEC’s energy transition, which in­cluded building its first fos­sil-fuel-efficient and mod­ernised power plant in 2015, with a capacity of 4.3MVA. This has provided the com­pany with the capability for the integration of wind and solar power, but also a build­ing that is more resilient to hurricanes and safer and convenient for production operation.

Further, in 2018 SEC com­missioned its first solar park and battery energy storage system (BESS) with a pro­duction capacity of 1MW financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy EZK and in 2020 solar power production was increased by 1.1 MW with a second solar farm and BESS partially funded by EU via the 11th EDF pro­gramme and EZK.

“Today Saba continues to enjoy 36% of its energy production from clean solar energy, making Saba one of the greenest destinations for tourists to visit,” Leonce said.

Further highlighting the company’s success, he noted that currently 95% of its dis­tribution network is under­ground. “These investments have enabled Saba Electric to strength the distribution network making it robust for new energy innovations, but also resilient during hurri­canes and wind-storms,” he said.

Consequently, SEC’s reli­ability performance has im­proved, resulting in an aver­age of 1-3 widespread power outages per year.

Leonce said SEC’s sights are set on expanding its re­newable energy production operations by 2025 with an additional 4MW Solar PV farm and 15MWh BESS, with 500kW wind power, al­lowing the company to reach 90% of sustainable renew­able energy.

Attendees at SEC’s 10th anniversary celebration socialising af­ter the official ceremony outside of the company’s main office in The Bottom.

Some of SEC’s employees were recognised during the ceremony for their contri­butions to the company’s success. These individuals were Head of the Produc­tion Plant Daniel Johnson for excellent workplace at­tendance; Administrative Assistant Shaun Johnson and Shift Operator Staford Haughton for outstanding leadership; electrical tech­nician Desmond Cane and Shift Operator Dwayne Johnson for health and safe­ty stewardship; and recog­nised for exceptional work execution performance were Administrative Assistant
Beverly Every, Production Plant mechanic Jiger Oble­gar and electrical techni­cians Leopoldo Lake Rodri­guez and Alvin Marshall.

The Daily Herald.

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