The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, formally commissioned Trinidad & Tobago’s first fully solar-powered, energy efficient home with an official ceremony event on Tuesday 28th July 2015 at The University of Trinidad and Tobago Point Lisas Campus at 3:30PM. Senator the Honorable Kevin C. Ramnarine Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs delivered the feature address. Minister Fazal Karim also delivered remarks.
Working in tandem with the Ministry Of Energy and Energy Affairs on this project was National Energy, Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST), the University of Trinidad and Tobago and a contractor from Barbados in partnership with local firms. The fully inhabitable 2-bedroom, 1-bath; solar house was constructed at the University of Trinidad & Tobago’s Point Lisas campus.
The solar house is furnished with all major appliances including a fridge, microwave, electric kettle, computer, ceiling fans, electric iron, standing fan, television, DVD player and radio. With the launch of the Solar House Project the Ministry of Energy will highlight the feasibility of renewable energy technologies in Trinidad & Tobago, specifically the use of the roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, to convert Trinidad & Tobago’s abundant sunlight to energy. The Sun provides full power for the entire house, all the Lighting and all the appliances.
The roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, converts sunlight to electrical energy and will provide an average of 300kWh (units) of electricity per month. According to the IDB, a regular home uses approximately 16 kWh a day. The solar house was designed efficiently therefore would only use approximately 10 kWh a day. This house uses no energy from the TTEC grid and is 100% powered by solar power.
The home is an initiative pioneered by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs with the aim to bring greater awareness about renewable energy and the benefits of using various energy conservation technologies for enhanced energy efficiency in Trinidad and Tobago. The solar house is directly in line with Governments plans of transforming Trinidad & Tobago into a green economy, while improving the international reputation of the country as a leader in sustainable development.
The Prime Minister has recently announced Cabinet’s approval of a Feed-In Tariff policy, set to be implemented once the relevant T&TEC and RIC Acts are amended. This will allow Renewable Energy Technologies to be installed by citizens and allow these technologies to be tied in to the national grid. Along with this development the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs continues to install solar-powered security lighting in community centres across the country and solar PV panels with solar stills in secondary schools. Thus far 22 schools and 13 centres have been completed, a number expected to double every year.
The solar house will be open to public educational tours about the equipment in the house and the purpose of each item, as well as how the energy is used and regulated in the house. A display of the solar PV system and an explanation of the system will be part of the tour as well.
The Solar house is the second of its kind in the entire Caribbean region; the first solar house was installed in Barbados.