A great week for T&T's energy transition
This is truly a remarkable week for Trinidad and Tobago! On Tuesday we celebrated a new structure for Atlantic LNG and today we are celebrating the green light for this country’s first utility scale solar power plant. This is history in the making as the country takes a major step into renewable energy production, progressing its energy transition ambitions.
T&T has a rich energy history, and a track record of energy evolution as can be seen with the shift from oil to natural gas, then into LNG and now into renewable energy. bpTT has played a role in all of these transitions and we are honoured - and excited - to continue to play a role in the evolution of the country’s energy industry.
It’s an opportune time to get into solar power development. According to bp’s Statistical Review of World Energy, renewable energy, led by wind and solar power, continued to grow strongly in 2021 and now accounts for 13 percent of total generation. Renewable generation (excluding hydro) increased by almost 17% in 2021 and accounted for over half of the increase in global power generation over the past two years.Globally, investment in low carbon energies – including solar energy - is integral to bp’s aims of reducing to net zero the carbon intensity of the energy products we sell - including physical trades of energy products - by 2050 or sooner and being net zero across our entire operations on an absolute basis by 2050 or sooner.
This project will provide 112 Megawatts of power and includes the development of two sites: Orange Grove and Brechin Castle. The project combines the global and local experience of bp and Shell as energy operators and the expertise of Lightsource bp, a global leader in financing, development and management of large-scale solar projects.
This project is not only instrumental in helping the country achieve its climate commitments, but it has important economic benefits as well. By powering homes and buildings with power produced from solar energy, we are freeing up natural gas that can now be redirected to the petrochemical and LNG plants and converted into energy commodities that earn critical foreign exchange. So the benefits are two-fold – cleaner power for domestic use and more gas for revenue generating exports.I would like to thank the Honourable Minister of Energy and Energy Industries for his leadership in bringing the project to this stage and the Minister of Public Utilities and his team for their support.
It is through the collaboration with the government’s steering committee and numerous government agencies that we are here today. My special thanks to the team at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries led by PS Bradshaw-Niles, to the team at the Ministry of Public Utilities led by PS Nicolette Duke, and to the teams at T&TEC, Lands and Survey’s division, the Environmental Management Authority, National Energy, UWI and I am sure there are many more worthy of mention.
And, of course, thank you to the negotiating teams from bp, Lightsource bp and Shell.This has by no means been an easy undertaking as this was new ground for all of us, building the regulatory frameworks and commercial structures that would allow this project to become a reality were complex and took time. The good news is that all of this work not only benefits this first renewable energy project but also provides a strong framework for hopefully more projects to come.With agreements now in place I look forward to seeing shovels in the ground as we move forward with construction of the project.Diversifying the country’s energy mix is now well underway with Trinidad and Tobago securing its future as a regional energy leader in both hydrocarbons and renewables.
We look forward to continued collaboration with our partners and government to ensure Trinidad and Tobago’s energy industry continues to thrive.