GEBE makes presentation on solar car park to government

PHILIPSBURG–The board of utilities company GEBE recently made a presentation to the Government of St. Maarten regarding the development of a solar car park along the Walter Nisbeth Road.

Chairperson of GEBE’s Supervisory Board Roy Marlin said there are clear advantages to persons wanting to park for an extended period under a covered parking, which would be shaded.

According to the power point presentation made in February, government as shareholder of GEBE, will have 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. GEBE would also need to sign a final Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement before construction can begin.

Marlin told this newspaper last night a request was made for GEBE to use the parking lot. VROMI had made an advice for government on this request, but the utilities company has not received a formal response from government as yet.

As part of the solar project, GEBE had signed a Letter of Intent with Aruban Company Sunshine Real Estate last year. The LOI is for Sunshine Real Estate to assess several identified locations and present financial, technical and operational details for the EPC to GEBE, as a result of a tender process that the company won.

The locations assesses for the project were GEBE’s Power plant (on which a roof-mounted solar system can be placed); GEBE’s Distribution Building (roof-mounted solar system); GEBE’s Management building (roof-mounted solar system) and the two parking lots located along Walter Nisbeth Road (car-parking mounted solar system).

SRE has since presented GEBE with a complete design, and drafted an Engineering, Procurement and Construction agreement.

According to the presentation, Sunshine Real Estate has joint ventures between several companies to deliver solar installations in the Caribbean region. Their partners include Eco Energy NV, a supplier of grid-tied solar installations in Caribbean with more than 200 installed installations; SMA, a leader in PV inverter industry and solar solutions, and Schletter, a global leader in mounting systems.

Sunshine Real Estate has done projects with Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (1- megawatt power), Dutch Naval base (1-megawatt power), Goisco (650-kilowatt power) and Statia STUCO (2-megawatt power).

According to the presentation, the design made after extensive site, construction and soil analysis consists of 603-kilowatt Rooftop Solar installation and 892-kilowatt Carport Solar installation, totalling 1.5-megawatt power. The estimated yield of the total solar facility during the initial year will be 2.47 GWh, the power point presentation stated.

Source: The Daily Herald