Entropy Cayman Solar broke ground Monday on Cayman’s first solar farm, scheduled for an October commissioning, supplying 5 megawatts of electricity to the Caribbean Utilities Company and the national grid.
Government and CUC officials joined Entropy executives and guests at the ceremony on a 22-acre former vegetable farm adjacent to Pease Bay Pond.
“In a few months, this spot will be a sea of renewable energy,” said David March, managing partner of North Carolina-based parent Entropy Investment Management, LLC. “It will be a sea of silicone, glass, steel and wires, and pumping clean renewable energy into every home, making our lives and the lives of this planet just a little bit brighter.”
Mr. March said he did not invest in glass or steel, but in people.
“People built the planet and people have to save this planet and I invest in people,” he said, adding that the farm could represent the vanguard of a new industry in Cayman.
President and CEO of CUC Richard Hew said the utility’s interest in renewable energy started in 2001 when the company commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of alternative-power sources, hoping to reduce dependence on diesel-powered technology.
He also said CUC believes wind generation should be pursued on Grand Cayman. Although the output is intermittent, wind power is economically viable and offers diversification away from solar, also classified as “intermittent.”
When the solar array is completed at the end of the year, Mr. March said he looks forward to tenders for a second 5 MW farm, anticipated to provide power at peak period to as many as 1,000 homes.
Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure Kurt Tibbetts said the solar farm would be Cayman’s first, and government hopes to ensure it is the best available, offering affordable power at good prices, and that it will deliver benefits for years to come.
He said the commitment by Mr. March and Entropy created hope for an entirely new industry, and that the traditional and renewable sectors could blend well.
Mr. Tibbetts was aware the 5 MW solar-power supply constitutes only about 5 percent of the peak demand supplied by CUC, but said long-term demand would grow, and Entropy’s new farm offers an excellent beginning.