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Bizzy for energy plant

marciadottin, [email protected]

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Prominent businessman Ralph “Bizzy” Williams has suggested that Barbados establish a plant for the construction of photovoltaic panels.Speaking last Friday at the Savannah Hotel during a break in a renewable energy seminar hosted by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), he said he would be willing to invest in such a venture.“What would be wrong with building a plant in Barbados to produce the photovoltaic panels and for the Government to guarantee they would take the output of the plant at an agreed price?” he queried. Williams, who is chairman of Williams Industries Ltd, said the plant would run 24 hours each day in order to maximise efficiency and employ Barbadians.He suggested that the panels be deployed on flat agricultural land which is “producing nothing of value for the country”.“We could build up to 50 megawatts of solar voltaic, which would produce the electricity for Light & Power’s grid when they are at their peak in the day,” he said.Williams noted that the 24-hour operation would enable Barbados to produce the panels at a price that would allow them to be exported throughout the region.He told members of the media that the company has already invested lots of money in alternative energy but has not yet reaped success. For example, he said, they had not yet received approval for a proposed 275 kilowatt wind turbine.“It would be an environmental impact assessment study into wind generation,” he said, noting that it would run for a period of one year during which Government would have access to all the information gathered.“We were going to put $11?2 million of our own money into this project just for an environmental impact assessment study . . . ,” Williams said.“The rules say you have to have the base of the turbine one-and-a-half times the overall height from the nearest boundary, and the piece of land that we had to put it on doesn’t comply with that,” he said.However, he noted that “it’s only a year” they are asking for. (NB)