BMR Energy, a developer, owner and operator of clean energy projects in the Caribbean and Latin America, has acquired a 5 MW alternating current solar plant in the Cayman Islands from Entropy Cayman Solar I.
A member of the Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of Companies, BMR will take over all operations of Cayman Island’s only utility-scale solar project and the power purchase agreement with the local utility, Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd (CUC).
The acquired plant — Bodden Town Solar Farm — includes a total of 21,690 photovoltaic panels and has been operational since July 2017. The facility is sited on a former rock quarry, recovering this location to generate clean, renewable energy without impacting undisturbed areas on the island. All power generated by the Bodden Town Solar Farm will contribute to the grid’s peak load of about 110 MW and provide power to more than 800 homes.
“We are pleased to establish operations in the Cayman Islands and contribute to its transition to renewable energy,” CEO of BMR Energy, Bruce Levy said in a press release. “Our team is looking forward to driving facility operations to boost efficiency to deliver as much clean energy as we can for the community and look forward to expanding our Cayman operations in the future.”
BMR said it is working closely with CUC to provide reliable renewable energy to end-users supporting the Cayman Islands’ national target of supplying 70 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2037. As an island vulnerable to climate change, the Cayman Islands are also part of the Paris Agreement and have signed a mandate to make the transition to renewables.
“The Bodden Town Solar Farm, the first utility-scale partnership for CUC, has provided our customers with clean energy since 2017,” Vice-President Customer Services and Technology for CUC, Sacha Tibbetts said.
“We look forward to working together with BMR Energy on the continued operation of the solar farm. CUC’s aim is to have 25 per cent of energy on the grid come from renewable energy sources by 2025 and to meet the objectives and targets of the National Energy Policy over the longer term,” Tibbetts continued.
CUC commenced operations as the only electric utility in Grand Cayman on May 10, 1966. The company currently has an installed generating capacity of 161 megawatts.
BMR’s announcement builds on momentum from a successful year for BMR Energy. Throughout 2018, the energy company continued work on Branson’s goal of accelerating renewable energy adoption and building a cleaner, more resilient energy future for the Caribbean and Latin America. The company said it spent most of 2018 restoring existing solar projects that endured damage during the 2017 hurricane season while exploring new promising markets for renewable energy in the region. BMR currently has projects in the US Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Jamaica and now the Cayman Islands.
The company’s 4 MW alternating current Spanish Town, St Croix solar facility, which was damaged by a hurricane in June 2018, has experienced strong operations since BMR repaired the facility and brought it back online on November 8, 2018.
According to BMR, it’s 36 MW Jamaica Wind Project also achieved record-breaking generation in terms of both availability and output.
“High winds and successful day-to-day operations allowed the wind farm to exceed BMR’s annual projections for 2018 by more than 10 per cent,” the company said.