Pondera to carry out a wind feasibility study in Saba

Source: Pondera

Saba has the ambition to become a 100% sustainable energy island. Wind energy is one of the possible renewable energy sources that are being explored. Dutch consultancy Pondera will be carrying out a feasibility study for this purpose.

Saba’s goal to become a 100% sustainable energy island was formulated in the 2019 Energy Sector Strategy. The strategy document includes the plan to construct an additional 1 MW of renewable energy. The Public Entity Saba, the Saba Electric Company (SEC) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy are exploring the ways to increase the share of renewable energy.

At the moment, Saba, which has around 1,200 electricity consumers, already has two solar parks and another one reaching completion soon. With the solar energy and a good contract with a new fossil fuel provider, SEC managed to make Saba the island with the lowest variable electricity tariff of the Caribbean Netherlands, Pondera said.

The objective is to sustainably reduce the electricity tariffs in the future and to become less dependent on the import of fossil fuel. The focus is on wind energy. Wind turbines can also generate electricity at night and require less battery capacity, an expensive commodity which would be necessary in the case of adding another solar park.

Feasibility study
SEC has contracted Pondera to carry out a feasibility study based on wind data that were collected during an earlier study. The results of the study should give a clear answer to the question as to whether wind energy on Saba is technically and financially feasible. Pondera will look at suitable locations for wind energy on Saba, the best technologies for the island and the best set-up for three different scenarios.

These scenarios are: adding 1 MW of wind energy (about 20% of the electricity need), working towards 80 to 90% renewable energy and working towards 100% renewable energy. The last scenario of 100% renewable energy will be the most complex scenario because a solid balancing of the grid will have to be secured.

With the outcome of the feasibility study, SEC will work on the next steps in the area of renewable energy. Whether this will be in the form of wind energy and whether 1 MW or more will be added to the electricity grid depends on the feasibility, also in terms of finances.

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