Starting next year, a total of 300 people within the Barbados National Oil Company Limited (BNOCL) will receive photovoltaic (PV) systems, as part of a small pilot project.
Chairman of the BNOCL, Alex McDonald, made this disclosure while speaking to the media at Halton Plantation, St Philip, on Friday.
Noting that the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, and Prime Minister Mia Mottley had announced a ‘very bold’ plan of Barbados becoming 100 per cent energy efficient by 2030, he said BNOCL’s Board decided they had to play their part in helping the country reach its goal, even though they are in the oil business.
McDonald said: “BNOCL is an oil company; the incongruity of an oil company pushing a renewable energy (RE) agenda struck everybody. So, out of that came a number of initiatives. Firstly, to realign our name with an energy name so that we’re not an oil company by itself, but more to embrace and build on the renewable path that the country is on.
“To that end, we have formed a renewable arm of the company and one of the signature moves of that renewable arm is to commit to putting 30,000 photovoltaic systems on the homes of the average Bajan. That’s roughly about 3,000 homes per year for the next 10 years.
“The project will involve placing PV systems on their homes and replacing the electricity costs to the members of our staff so that they are essentially fossil fuel free,” McDonald said.
He added that he wanted the message sent “that although part of our business is, and will continue to be a fossil fuel business, that our job is to sell it (2030 Energy goal) and to help the Government to achieve it”.
The Chairman acknowledged that it will be a “massive” task, and by having the small pilot project with staff, it will allow the state owned enterprise to test the processes; test the acquisition process and also the metrics involved in the initiative.
He stated that Prime Minister Mottley and Minister Abrahams made it very clear that the initiative must involve the most vulnerable in our community; people who would not have normally been able to afford RE systems, so that they too would be able to have cheap renewable energy.