Two workers instal solar panels at the Piarco Airport solar farm – Courtesy Ministry of Planning and Development
THE solar farm project at the Piarco International Airport is progressing steadily, says Minister of Planning and Development Pennelope Beckles who provided an update on Sunday.
The project is a collaborative effort with the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+).
A release from the ministry said several technical tasks have been completed, such as the installation of 25 tonnes of photovoltaic (PV) ground mounted structures, 960 PV modules, a transformer and high voltage cables.
Also being installed are fiber-optic cables, inverters as well as a drainage system.
The release said Beckles underscored that the aim of the initiative was to increase the availability and use of energy from renewable sources, as well as to increase the efficiency levels in the consumption of energy in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Such ventures will provide ample scope for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions locally. This contributes to the fulfillment of our goals regarding Sustainable Development Goal 7, affordable and clean energy, as well as our commitment to TT’s national development strategy, Vision 2030, to place the environment at the centre of social and economic development, articulated in theme five,” the minister said.
The release said GCCA+ is a flagship initiative of the European Union, geared towards providing support to address the issue of climate change.
It also noted that TT, through the ministry’s European Development Fund Unit, was able to partner with the delegation of the European Union to ensure TT designed projects which would give it access to the GCCA+ programme while contributing to the achievement of the country’s nationally determined contribution (NDC), according to the Paris Agreement.
The solar farm is managed by the Airports Authority. It will consist of ground-mounted solar panels installed over an area of 1.54 hectares with an annual generation capacity of 767,034 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which represents 3.6 per cent of the total amount of electricity consumed at the Piarco International Airport.
This project could potentially reduce annual emissions of carbon dioxide by 500 metric tonnes and contribute to an overall reduction in TT’s carbon footprint.
The ministry said the next steps for the project include the completion of electrical wiring, drainage and grounding systems; installation of inverters, SCADA and CCTV system as well as the pre-commissioning process, which is expected to commence at the end of March.