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Region’s largest hybrid power plant to open in Barbados

by Sandy Deane
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Barbados is to become the home of the largest hybrid power plant in the Caribbean, which will supply thousands of homes with electricity from solar and locally produced green hydrogen.

Developers HDF Energy, a leading global company in hydrogen energy, said RUBIS and HDF Energy in the Caribbean are developing Renewstable® Barbados (RSB), a large grid-friendly energy power plant project that will supply clean, resilient, stable and competitive baseload electricity 24/7 to 16,000 homes.

“Located in St Philip, RSB will aid the island in achieving its 100 per cent  renewable energy mandate by 2030 without the intermittency concerns that typically limit the deployment of solar and wind power on island grids,” the developers said.

“Using only the sun as a primary source of electricity (50MW solar), RSB combines 128MWh of green hydrogen and battery storage to deliver a continuous output of power, day and night. The project is currently under Government’s regulatory review and approval.”

RSB is also committed to promoting the dual use of solar energy and agriculture on the site.

A large-scale sheep farming facility will be accommodated, with both direct sheep grazing and grass harvesting within the solar power plant and surrounding green areas. Sheep husbandry will be developed on the facilities in order to maintain dual use of the land, producing lamb meat and skins locally, and generating direct and indirect local jobs while simultaneously saving and creating vital foreign exchange.

“We are extremely delighted to have Rubis joining RSB, the second Renewstable® project after CEOG. Many similar projects are currently being developed by HDF Energy across the globe, using the same proven bankable business model and focusing on a valuable baseload power service for local grids,” CEO of HDF Energy, Damien Havard said.

“In addition to HDF Energy’s unique hydrogen power and local development expertise, we believe the solid presence of Rubis Caribbean in Barbados and its strong commitment to decarbonisation makes it a robust development and financing partner.”

Clarisse Gobin-Swiecznik, Managing Director of Rubis, added that this second investment in a green hydrogen power plant reinforces HDF Energy’s growing collaboration.

“We strongly believe in the Renewstable® technology already implemented with CEOG as a viable solution to provide energy at an affordable cost to populations with challenging energy supply logistics. This new project illustrates our will to develop new carbon-free sources of energy, especially in countries where Rubis is operating,” she said.

Rubis Energie, the parent company of Rubis Caribbean, has acquired 51 per cent of the hydrogen power project in the Caribbean.

This transaction follows a strategic agreement signed between the two energy companies in June 2021. HDF Energy is also in active discussions with the Barbados Sustainable Energy Co-operative Society to offer 30 per cent  of the project prior to construction.

During its two-year construction period, RSB will create around 200 jobs and support around 25 permanent local jobs during its operation.

Both HDF Energy and Rubis, which have regional head offices in Barbados, currently employ over 1,500 professionals across the entire region. (SD/PR)

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