The first utility-scale renewable energy development in Saint Lucia was officially opened August 9, 2018. The opening ceremony was attended by Saint Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, former US President Bill Clinton, and former President of Costa Rica, José María Figueres. LoopTT reports on former President Clinton’s remarks at the opening:
President Bill Clinton said that Saint Lucia could lead the way to the future.
“The Caribbean can lead in building an inclusive 21st century prosperity. This region could be completely carbon-free.”
Speaking about Saint Lucia specifically he said, “You took this step before most other people did. Lead the way to the future and we’ll all follow waving our various flags together.”
Clinton said that the new plant was only a beginning, “You’ve done something good, remarkable, worthy in its own right. You know that you can do more. The Caribbean still has about the highest electric rates in the world.” Clinton spoke about how Saint Lucia needs to figure out how to transition towards more economical means of energy like wind, solar and perhaps geothermal while cooperating with the utility provider in a way that makes the island more resilient so that gains are not lost in the blink of an eye.
Former President Figueres also commended Saint Lucia for setting an example for other Caribbean countries to follow:
“Today I applaud those who made this solar park into a reality – LUCELEC and the government – by working together are setting an example for other islands. Collaborating to solve your countries’ energy future is what we all should be doing,” said President Figueres.
Prime Minister Chastanet expressed his government’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions in the face of climate change:
“I know that this renewable energy project will be a great success and it represents a new promise and a new model that I hope to see replicated in the future,” said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. “We remain very optimistic about the future of the development of the electricity sector and as a Government we are committed to projects such as these which are the key to facing the climate challenge that small islands like ours face. I congratulate LUCELEC on spearheading this project and we continue to be thankful for the support of the Rocky Mountain Institute and all who were involved in its successful implementation.”
[Image: via Saint Lucia News Online]