By Mohd Aamir
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, (WAM) — The UAE – Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) the largest renewable energy investment of its type in the region, which is fully financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), has announced the signing of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a hurricane-resistant clean energy project worth US$50 million in Dominica.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar, said: “This project will support the stabilization of Dominica’s electricity grid and enable it to achieve its climate resilience goals. The people of Dominica are committed to harnessing the gifts the Earth has given to them – geothermal energy and hydropower – and moving away from fossil fuels. Masdar is committed to enabling them to achieve their clean-energy objectives and leveraging our expertise to demonstrate the critical role renewable energy plays in accelerating economic growth for communities.”
Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, is leading the design and implementation of the project to build a 5-megawatt/2.5 megawatt-hours battery energy storage system, which will support the island nation’s clean energy objectives. The system will stabilize the electricity grid, provide reserve power and frequency control, and provide an additional level of climate resilience, mitigating the impact of extreme weather events.
The battery storage system will connect to the national grid and will enable increased renewable energy penetration from existing hydropower and future geothermal sources. The battery-only project, in part financed by Dominica’s government, is the first of its type under the CREF programme and complements existing and ongoing energy generation projects in Dominica, enabling an increased share of renewable energy deployment without adverse impact to the grid.
Prime minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skeritt, expressed gratitude to the UAE government for this significant contribution towards his country’s development.
“The 5MW battery storage system will enable us to move more quickly to the transition from fossil fuel to renewable sources of energy in the electricity sector,” he said. “We look forward to continued partnership with the UAE in the area of sustainable development and other areas of mutual interest both bilaterally and multilaterally.”
The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund was launched at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 as a partnership between the UAE ministry of foreign affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), Masdar and ADFD, the UAE’s leading financial institution spearheading national and global development projects.
Sultan Al Shamsi, assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs at MoFAIC, remarked: “Since its founding as a nation, the UAE has been committed to promoting global peace and prosperity and supporting other countries’ development. This latest initiative under the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund enables us to continue that mission. By giving the people of Dominica secure access to clean, renewable energy, we are also paving the way to a more sustainable future for the world. Such projects will enable us to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that no one is left behind.”
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of ADFD, said: “Renewable projects remain high on our agenda as their impact is felt on multiple levels, from commerce to the environment. As for this project, it will transform the lives of the people of Dominica, where it will create jobs, reduce energy costs, and bolster gender equality and capacity building. By giving the country energy security and significantly reducing its dependence on expensive diesel fuel, it will enable Dominica to achieve its national priorities and Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The project thus encapsulates ADFD’s core mission to drive sustainable economic development in partner countries by investing in renewable energy projects and promoting resource efficiency. In the face of the uncertainty the world faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE remains committed to leveraging its resources and expertise to build a more sustainable future for all. UAE-CREF had given us an opportunity to advance our sustainable development agenda across the developing world and reduce its carbon footprint,” Al Suwaidi said.
Under the UAE-CREF initiative, clean energy projects in The Bahamas, Barbados, and St Vincent and the Grenadines were inaugurated in March 2019. UAE-CREF intends to deploy renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean countries in three cycles to reduce energy costs, increase energy access, and enhance climate resilience.