On Jan. 15, the Caribbean Utilities Company announced that government accepted its integrated resource plan, a road map for how the territory will produce its energy over the next 30 years.
The plan calls for Cayman to shift from mostly diesel power to renewable energy and natural gas over the next three decades. That timeline may seem far off, but CUC has much more immediate goals of procuring 25 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2025, and 60 percent by 2037.
Cayman’s power provider has a lot of work to do to meet those targets. Currently, CUC produces a little more than 2.5 percent of its power, or about 10 megawatts (MW), from renewable sources. About 5 MW of that comes from the solar plant in Bodden Town and the other half comes from customers selling their renewable power back into the grid.
Therefore, to reach the 25 percent threshold by 2025, CUC will have to increase its renewable-energy capacity by about 90 MW over the next six years. That would entail building 18 new solar plants if they are the same size as the one in Bodden Town, but CUC executive Sacha Tibbetts said the power company would more likely build four or five 20 MW plants, which would be a $25- to $50-million investment.