2022 BUDGET ADDRESS DELIVERED BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE HONOURABLE ANDREW. A. FAHIE UNDER THE THEME: Strategically positioning New Industries with Sustainability and Innovation: Continuing to improve the standard of living with focus on Education, Small Business, Healthcare and Technology

Mr Speaker, any country that aims to be competitive must embrace the modern technology that is available, and which supports economic growth and protection of the environment.

This is why among your Government’s areas of focus are the strengthening of our energy supply to enhance reliability, while reducing our carbon footprint; as well as providing the telecommunications capabilities to support a highly digitised economy.

The BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) continues to make great strides with the Virgin Islands clean energy transition towards diversifying energy production utilising renewable energy.

On 5 November, 2021, BVIEC signed the contract for the Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy and Battery Energy Storage System Project with Power52 Clean Energy Access, LLC. This project, when completed during the first quarter of 2023, is projected to reduce the current volume of fossil fuel used to produce electricity on that Sister Island by 95 percent.

This will surpass the Government’s target of reducing fossil-fuel-based generation by 80 percent. The system will comprise of approximately one (1) MegaWatt of solar PV panels and 4,078 kilowatt-hour of Battery Energy Storage.

I am pleased that with the 39 students who attended the H L. Stoutt Community College Certified Solar Technician Training Programme, approximately 22 have achieved their North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certifications, and will use the Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy and Battery Energy Storage System Project to gain the necessary practical experience that will put them in a position to catapult the Renewable Energy Industry in the Virgin Islands. The BVI will lead in this area.

BVIEC continues to progress the feasibility assessments with respect to exploring the renewable energy potential for utility scale solar PV generation and penetration on the national transmission grid infrastructure in Paraquita Bay, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.

On 8 November, 2021, BVIEC commenced its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process for qualified installers to express their interest in providing engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for a combined solar and battery energy microgrid in Paraquita Bay. This process also includes the construction of a substantial investment that will be made and to allow for a substation to place underground the sole portion of the Virgin Islands’ transmission infrastructure which is above ground. This means adding other infrastructural improvements which will not only support transmission grid infrastructure resilience, but also add much needed energy resilience to essential services in the Paraquita Bay area, including water production, sewerage treatment among others. HLSCC will also benefit from this initiative.

Following the enactment of both the BVI Electricity Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2015 and the BVI Electricity Corporation (Renewable Energy) Regulations, 2018 which combined provide the Territory with the legal framework to advance the subject of renewable energy, the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has processed seven consumer-generator Small Scale Renewable Energy Interconnection applications to date for a combined system size of approximately 300 kilowatts, four of which have been grid-tied, namely the Bregado Flax Educational Centre (BFEC), Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Leonora Delville Primary School, and Guavaberry Spring Bay Vacation Homes. We have an additional six customer applications currently being assessed with a combined system size of approximately 60 kilowatts.

Your Government has established a basket of incentives to encourage residents to transition to clean renewable energy. This includes zero tax on clean energy equipment for a further one year in the first instance, some duties – albeit low – will begin to apply thereafter. Incentives are also in place for persons to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.

The 2017 hurricanes completely destroyed BVIEC’s headquarters in Virgin Gorda. BVIEC plans to commence construction of its new Virgin Gorda Headquarters in 2022. This headquarters is expected to utilise sustainable and greener strategies following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. Once completed, it will be the first LEED Certified building in the Virgin Islands.



2022 budget address: Government of the Virgin Islands. 2022 Budget Address | Government of the Virgin Islands. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/2022-budget-address.