Plans are in the works to have a solar panel manufacturing plant set up in St.Kitts. This venture is being made possible through a collaboration with a Taiwanese solar company. The intention is to not only provide Photo Voltaics (PV) for St.Kitts and Nevis but for the whole Eastern Caribbean as well. Company officials from the Taiwanese company are slated to visit the island next month to discuss future plans.

In addition to the plan of having a solar manufacturing plant on the island, Housing & Energy Minister, Dr.Earl Asim Martin intends to have the next set of low income houses which are being built by the National Housing Corporation(NHC) to be equipped with PV panels. This venture is being done under the umbrella of the Housing Solutions 500 homes program. Dr Martin indicated that at the moment NHC is only able to complete 370 plus homes but he assured that all 500 homes will be outfitted with PV panels. “This will assist in reducing the cost of electricity for those households that will experience the first phase of solar panels that will be installed during the construction of the new homes,” Martin disclosed.

Discussions are being held with St.Kitts Electric Company (SKELEC) in order to accomodate net metering for feed back into the grid for these newly constructed PV equipped homes. “As we move on we will gradually expand that to not only NHC constructed homes but other new or existing homeowners who would want to get involved in the process and will be able to do so via the new Taiwan company and SKELEC,” said Martin.

Dr.Martin also made mention of the use of LED street lighting on a stretch of Kim Collins higway in addition to other stretches of road in increased efforts to reduce the islands dependence on fossil fuels.

Excerpts by: Caribbean News Now, St Kitts eyes solar panel manufacturing plant, June 1st 2012