On St. Eustatius, one of the three Public Entities of the Caribbean Netherlands, on the 15th of November a solar park will be officially put into use that can supply the entire island with electricity during the day until after sunset. Thanks to the park, the use of diesel generators, which until recently produced all electricity, can now be reduced by almost half.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has funded the solar park with a subsidy of over USD 14.1 million. This corresponds to almost USD 7,900 for each of the 1800 households and companies whom the investment from the Dutch Government will benefit.
In addition to the solar panels the park has an innovative battery storage of 2.6 MW / 5.9 MWh that can keep the grid stable without the diesel generators. On sunny days from 9.00 AM until 8.00 PM the solar park is responsible for the entire power production. Around noon the park produces more than 200% of the electricity demand. The produced surplus is stored and utilized later in the day. At night diesel generators take over the production.
This way on an annual basis the solar park provides 46% of the electricity needs of the island. The park has a nominal output of 4.15 MW; thanks to the sunny climate this plant can produce almost twice as much power as would be possible in the European Netherlands. With an expected annual production of 6.4 GWh, after Sunport Delfzijl, this is the Netherlands’ largest solar park.
The plant will be put into use officially on 15 November 2017 by the Kingdom Representative, Gilbert Isabella.