PHILIPSBURG–Utilities company GEBE is looking into the possibility of placing solar panels on the roof of schools, as its previous solar panel plans are “not available” to the company “at this time.”
The company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenrick Chittick told Members of Parliament (MPs) during a meeting of the Central Committee on Tuesday that having solar panels will enable GEBE to live up to its concession agreement, which calls for the implementation of renewable energy for electrical distribution.
“The proposal is to have a 2-megawatt solar project to live up to the concession… We have a number of options. We have submitted to government for land behind the Little League (Ball – Ed.) Park in area of the dump, for permission to put solar panels there, and we were also looking at the parking lots along the Pondfill Road [Walter Nisbeth Road] to put certain solar panels, and those options not available to us at this time,” Chittick said. “We are looking at the different schools to see if we can place solar panels on their rooftops to comply with the concession of GEBE.”
In February, GEBE’s board made a presentation to Government regarding the development of a solar car park along Walter Nisbeth Road. According to that power point presentation, government, as shareholder of GEBE, would have had to formalise the signing-over of the parking lot land on Walter Nisbeth Road to the water and light company for the project to go ahead. As part of the solar project, GEBE had signed a Letter of Intent with Aruban Company Sunshine Real Estate last year.
In March, Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (VROMI) Christophe Emmanuel said he does not see the need for land to be transferred to GEBE. “Why should government transfer land to GEBE if they are requesting to put down a solar park? It’s just a matter of GEBE and government coming to some kind of agreement allowing them to use a parking lot. Government doesn’t have to transfer no land to GEBE and I don’t think government will be transferring land to GEBE. Government does not have to transfer the land,” the minister had said at the time.