For 57 years, CUC has been providing energy to the people of Grand Cayman. A lot has changed in those 57 years and CUC has remained committed to providing safe, reliable energy at competitive costs and with respect to the environment. The path to renewable energy has not been a straight one but CUC has remained committed to staying the course.
2003 Is wind an option?
Energy has evolved throughout the course of history. From firewood, coal, oil and diesel, the way that energy was used to meet the demand of the industrial needs of our world has advanced and there has been a big shift to utilising natural resources that are climate friendly. CUC has through the years looked at all various types of energy sources to shift away from oil and diesel generating units. In 2003, CUC looked at wind energy to see if it was a viable option for Grand Cayman. Through a year-long study, it was determined that the average wind speed of 13 mph on Grand Cayman was not strong enough to create enough energy needed to support the Island. There were also regulatory airspace laws that would be required to change to allow for large wind turbines to be constructed. Even though there were barriers to this energy source, CUC believes that wind energy will form a part of the renewable energy mix in the future.
In 2002, two 170-foot wind-monitoring towers were erected in East End and North Side to determine the feasibility of wind power
2009 + 2017 CORE/DER Programmes and Solar
At present, the most viable renewable energy source is solar energy and CUC has been making investments into this type of energy for many years. This includes the development and implementation of our Customer Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) and Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Programmes. Both programmes allow for solar energy to be utilised by our customers and excess energy can be sold to the grid. CUC was also responsible for the issuance of the request for proposal that led to the first utility-scale solar project being commissioned on Grand Cayman in 2017.
2023 Utility-Scale Battery Storage
With solar energy as the most viable renewable energy source for Grand Cayman, CUC has taken the necessary steps to ensure that this energy source is supported for the future. The Company has purchased two 10 megawatt (MW) battery storage systems that will enable the storage of excess solar energy to be used when needed. The installation of these batteries will be completed by the end of 2023. To further support green energy, the Company will also convert five of its diesel generating units to run on liquid natural gas (LNG) and this project is set to be completed at the end of 2024.
The Company anxiously awaits the bid process with OfReg for the competitive renewable energy auction scheme. 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. CUC is committed to staying the course and building a future that Caymanians deserve.