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CARILEC HOSTS RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM WITH VIWAPA AND UVI

(Thursday, September 15, 2011)

 

 

                                                                                               

cassandra.dunn@viwapa.vi

340.340-690-5758/773-2250 ext. 4085

PRESS RELEASE

Wednesday, September 13, 2011

CARILEC HOSTS RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM WITH VIWAPA AND UVI

 

The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) proudly announces its first Renewable Energy forum to be held on September 19 to 21, 2011, at the Sugar Bay Resort on St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. CARILEC, the association of electric utilities in the Caribbean, is an advocate for meaningful change within the energy industry to enhance the quality of life for people in the region.  The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and the University of the Virgin Islands have partnered with CARILEC in presenting the conference.

Opening ceremonies on Monday evening, September 19 will set the tone for the next two days during which energy leaders and experts exchange views on emerging regional and global issues related to energy policies, programs, technologies, and investment opportunities. Upwards of 100 participants are expected to attend, including electric utility executives, regional leaders, energy experts from throughout the Caribbean and the United States, members of the private sector, financiers, planners, government, academia and international organizations.

CARILEC Executive Director Dr. Gary Jackson said, “The conference theme, Caribbean Integration: An Electric Utility Energy Diversification Strategy in a Challenging Global Environment, was chosen because CARILEC views energy security and sustainability as a regional responsibility.”   He continued, “Our economies are tied and the mission should not be to break the chains that were forged by our fore fathers, but to strengthen them for the benefit of all. This forum will provide the opportunity to learn about what is being done in the region, and identify what is required to take us to the next level as well as help chart a roadmap to achieving national policies and targets.”

Hugo V. Hodge, Jr., CPQ, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and member of the executive board of CARILEC welcomes the association to the Virgin Islands for its first renewable energy forum. “We are pleased to welcome such distinguished guests to our shores. The Authority is recognized by the chief executive officers of many of the other Caribbean utilities as a leader in addressing the move away from fossil fuel to generate power,” said Hodge. “There is tremendous interest in our intended interconnection with Puerto Rico which has potential for establishing a Caribbean electric grid, and in the responses to WAPA’s solar request for proposal (RFP) which are due at the end of this month. Our plans to incorporate natural gas into our generation mix and the Alpine waste-to-energy project have been important topics of conversation in the region.  Like us, the other Caribbean countries are aggressively searching for alternatives to their high cost of energy,” Hodge added.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs Field Representative Basil Ottley will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s opening ceremonies. Ottley is highly regarded as an important liaison in the progress that the Virgin Islands has made in meeting
Governor John P. DeJongh, Jr.’s  mandate to reduce fossil fuel usage 60% by the year 2025. Attendees will discuss power purchase agreements; issues, challenges, best practices and solutions to integrating renewable energy resources into the electricity grid; driving renewable energy development through policy and regulation; net metering--the Virgin Islands story; what is required to interconnect island systems to maximize the development of the region’s renewable energy resources; and developing renewable energy projects on islands.

The conference has attracted a cadre of outstanding speakers from regional and international companies including The ABB Group, The Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Program (CREDP), Desert Sky Group, EGE HAINA, Global and Regional Solutions Directorate, International Finance Corporation –Trinidad, IT Power, KEMA, St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (LUCELC),  the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Organization of America States (OAS), Sustainable Systems and Design International, Vestas, 5 Stone Green Capital for Green Investments, VIWAPA, and the World Bank .

            The University of the Virgin Islands Green Technology Center is a presenting partner at the forum.  UVI President David Hall said he is honored that UVI is participating. “Renewable energy is the future of the Caribbean and this conference should allow us to stay on the cutting edge of this movement.  I applaud our Caribbean Green Technology Center for ensuring that this conference is occurring within the University and the Virgin Islands,” Hall said. The University of the West Indies and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are also presenting partners.

There is a discounted fee of $400 for local registrants. There will also be two free events.  V.I. residents are invited to meet and join the Caribbean attendees for a “POWER WALK” on Wednesday morning at 6 a.m . at the Sugar Bay Resort & Spa.  The forum will close with a town hall meeting on Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at UVI.  Light refreshments will be served.

Virgin Islands residents and local vendors can visit www.carilec.org for general conference information. For more information about local registration, please contact Alison Pascal at (758) 452-8604 / (758) 718-8660 or apascal@carilec.org or Lynnette Moreland at (340) 774-3552, extension 2050 or morelandld@viwapa.vi. Registration forms can be downloaded at www.viwapa.vi.

 

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