Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC) is committed to slashing carbon emissions and creating cost stability for the people of Grand Cayman. CUC is seeking to leverage greener technologies through a mixed use of renewable, cleaner energy sources and storage solutions.
How does CUC currently generate electricity?
CUC relies primarily on diesel generatiing units to produce electricity. The Company’s generating units run on the cleanest form of diesel fuel that is available.
When compared to our Caribbean neighbours, the fuel utilised by CUC has substantially less impact on the environment.
Environmental stewardship has always been a priority for CUC, and this unwavering commitment stands resolute as we plan for the future. With the transition to renewable and cleaner energy sources, there will need to be a balanced approach as to how this goal is achieved.
What’s the best renewable energy option for Grand Cayman?
The Company has identified a mix of renewable energy options for Grand Cayman. These include a mix of rooftop solar and utility-scale solar as the primary energy source for Grand Cayman and providing the least cost solution for customers. With an abundance of sunlight, this is the best renewable energy source available to us at this time. Therefore, when the Utility and Regulation Office of the Cayman Islands (OfReg) issues the anticipated competitive bid for a large scale solar plant, CUC will be ready to submit a proposal.
What is CUC currently doing?
In the interim, CUC is embarking on numerous preparations to fully gear up for utility-scale solar. This includes the purchase of energy storage and securing a cleaner energy supply. Solar energy and storage are the unsung heroes, capturing surplus sunlight for rainy days. CUC has a vision for the future where diesel is not the primary source of fuel. Instead, battery storage and utility scale solar will be prominent energy sources for Grand Cayman. CUC has already made a move towards a sustainable future with the purchase of two 10 megawatt (MW) battery systems that redefine energy resilience.
Why liquified natural gas (LNG)?
Another component of transitioning to cleaner energy solutions includes the sourcing of liquified natural gas (LNG). CUC recently sought qualifications for LNG providers, a seismic shift towards cost-effectiveness and carbon consciousness. LNG, being lower in cost than diesel or propane and with less CO2 emissions, will lower costs for both CUC and its customers. Burning LNG in CUC’s repurposed diesel generating units will reduce carbon emissions to new lows.
While natural gas may hail from the fossil fuel family, its footprint is but a shadow compared to the legacy of burning diesel. This project supports the Cayman Islands National Energy Policy (NEP) by heralding a new era of energy efficiency, reduced emissions and a diversification of the generation portfolio in the Cayman Islands.
In 2019, The Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) announced that for large scale solar to be offered on Grand Cayman, there would be a competitive bid process for utility scale solar. CUC anxiously awaits the bid process with OfReg. This bid process will allow CUC to openly provide details on the plans that the Company has for renewable energy and demonstrate to the public its commitment to finding affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly energy for the people of Grand Cayman.