The Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy and Battery Energy Storage System Project has been heavily impacted by inflation which has resulted in the cost of the project increasing by an undisclosed sum.

This was confirmed by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley at a recent media conference.

While he did not disclose the exact details surrounding the inflation experienced by the project, the contract awarded to Power52 back in July 2020 was valued at some $4,687,944.72.

“I don’t have a proper update except to say that, it’s still going to happen. I know that they were impacted by inflation. They were heavily impacted by inflation and the cost of the project would have gone up”, Dr. Wheatley stated.

He added, “They seem to be some issues that they were trying to resolve for them to move forward. I would have to check with the RDA and with Power52 to see if those issues have been resolved so that they can move forward.”

The project still on track

Despite the challenges faced by the project, Premier Wheatley assured the public that it remains on track for its originally announced December 2022 completion date.

“We’re still on track and it’s still going to happen. There have been delays and I’ll perhaps ask the minister for the environment which is Honourable Turnbull, to give an update on our project,” he stated.

Contract signed 16 months after bid was won

Power52 was announced as the winner of the contract in July 2020. However, the contract was only signed some 16 months after in November 2021 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairwoman of BVIEC Mrs. Rosemarie Flax at the time of the signing ceremony announced that the project will have significant savings on diesel fuel used in Anegada, with the plant only having to consume 5 percent of the usual diesel consumed annually, once the project is completed and running.

“The specifications of the system to be installed at 1.252 megawatts of solar PV panels and a 4078 kilowatt-hours of battery energy storage which is projected to reduce diesel produced on the island of Anegada by an impressive 95 percent. This diesel offset is very important to BVIEC as I have already stated in July 2020 that BVIEC subsidizes the cost of electricity for the residents of Anegada,” Flax stated.

The Chairwoman added, “Anegada is not connected to the main electrical grid which supplies 11 islands in the BVI and because of this, the revenue derived in Anegada cannot cover the cost of maintaining its operations, as the cost of fuel to produce electricity on Anegada is significantly higher than the fuel used to produce electricity on the main grid.”

The update, which was provided by Premier Wheatley only because of questions asked by the media, was the first since the signing of the contract in November 2021.

Prior to that, there have been no updates from the BVI Electricity Corporation or the Government of the Virgin Islands on the project.