Some UK Firms Targeting Cuban Solar + Energy Storage Market Following
Trade Restrictions Relaxation
June 29th, 2016 by James Ayre
Now that Cuban trade restrictions have been relaxed somewhat, a number
of UK solar energy firms have set their sights on the country, according
to recent reports.
In particular, the UK-based company Hive Energy (of Hampshire, England)
recently announced that it was the "first British company to secure a
major solar project contract in Cuba."
Hive Energy has apparently secured a contract with Cuba's state
electricity company, Union Eléctrica de Cuba, for the development of a
50 megawatt (MW) solar energy project in the Mariel Free Zone. The
project is scheduled to be completed by 2018.
A press release continued: "The contract marks Cuba's serious efforts to
clean up its fuel supply and move away from a dependence on foreign oil
to a portfolio of wind, sun and sugar cane. Combustible fuels are also
the island's primary source of contamination, and following 5 decades of
a US embargo, Cuba's power grid and plants are costly and inefficient.
All of these factors have forced the island to look for renewable
solutions to support the economy."
In addition to Hive Energy's contract, a separate UK-based developer by
the name of Commercial Funded Solar (CFS) is apparently working on
several new solar + energy storage project contracts — altogether
totaling $7.3 million in potential project costs and 5 MW of nameplate
Greentech Media notes in its coverage that "CFS last month signed a
joint venture agreement with UK-based Cuban investment firm Leni Gas
Cuba to gauge the market for hybrid renewable energy systems in the
country." Furthermore, "CFS chief executive Tim Dobson said the company
is targeting Cuba's commercial and industrial solar sector, and is
already looking to install renewable energy systems on 3 Cuban island
Leni Gas Cuba will reportedly also be sourcing the project opportunities
— which may also include Cuban school and hospital projects.
The coverage continues: "CFS expects the Cuban market for
solar-plus-storage could be worth around $29 million within a year.
Dobson said the nation's network operator is willing to offer
power-purchase agreements of between $0.10 and $0.15 per kilowatt-hour,
'with storage on the higher end.' "
Other UK firms are investigating the country as well, with the
commercial director for UK renewable energy professional services firm
Dulas, Alistair Marsden, noting that Cuba is an "interesting" market.
The country is reportedly aiming to increase its renewable energy share
to 24%, from 4.3%. Interestingly, the country is currently (through the
University of Havana) "studying the prospect of Cuba running its own
verification, control and certification labs for photovoltaic cells and
modules in the future."
A rapid move towards renewables would likely be prudent considering the
deteriorating situation in Venezuela (a major supplier of oil for Cuba).
Source: Some UK Firms Targeting Cuban Solar + Energy Storage Market
Following Trade Restrictions Relaxation | CleanTechnica -