Solar power station expected to provide a solution to climate and energy challenges is currently being trialled in Barbados.
Carlton Cummins by the Aceleron energy storage system at Atlantis hotel
Three hotels on the Caribbean island of Barbados (Atlantis, ECO Lifestyle + Lodge and Naniki) are currently trialling a new solar power station that enables them to access a continuous, reliable source of renewable energy that can run independently of the grid. Using a new subscription model, which offers Energy Storage as a Service (ESaaS), the hotels benefit from the system without having to cover the upfront costs typically associated with energy storage systems.
The twin challenges of climate change and rising energy prices are being faced across the globe, and Barbados is no exception. With hurricanes expected to increase in intensity due to climate change , grid instability can wreak havoc - particularly for the island’s hospitality industry. Coupled with a rise in energy prices, a country such as Barbados, where there is a relatively abundant supply of solar energy, has the potential to access a cheaper, more resilient electricity supply thanks to this trial.
The solar power stations, which consist of solar PV, battery storage and the appropriate inverter required by each hotel, uses uniquely repairable, serviceable and upgradeable battery energy storage systems (BESS) from UK-based cleantech firm Aceleron. They can also be scaled to fit the footprint best suited to the hotel’s spatial requirements - i.e. where the hotel has a series of villas, the solar power station is scaled to suit.
Carlton Cummins, CTO and co-founder of Aceleron, who is originally from Barbados, said: “This trial is the first of its kind, not only because the battery energy storage system can be maintained and serviced (thus reducing battery waste), but also because of the subscription model, which enables the hotels to lease the asset, thus negating any upfront costs and removing responsibility for the upkeep.
“The subscription model also assists with local job creation and we are currently working with local contractors and partners to provide training on the installation and maintenance of the systems for future use.
“Although this is a pilot scheme, from which we are learning a great deal, we can see that this type of model could work extremely effectively across the world for both developed and emerging markets.”
Kyle Taylor, owner of the ECO Lifestyle + Lodge, one of the hotels trialling the new solar power station system, said: “This pilot scheme is ideally suited to our hotel’s environmental values and I am extremely proud to be part of something that demonstrates an affordable, accessible means of harnessing our abundant sunshine in order to provide a reliable supply of clean energy, regardless of what the weather is doing.
“It also has enormous and far-reaching potential for other countries around the world.”
The project has been in development since 2019 and is expected to conclude this year, when the systems will be fully operational with local maintenance engineers available to provide regular servicing and upkeep over time. This has been made possible thanks to a contingent grant from IDB Lab who joined Aceleron in funding the project.
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