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U.S. Virgin Islands Cut Diesel Use for Electricity and Water Production by 20%

Aerial photo of the U.S. Virgin Islands

In support of the Energy Development in Island Nations initiative (EDIN), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) technical experts are working with the USVI Water and Power Authority, the Governor's Office, the Energy Office, and local stakeholders to identify the best combination of wind, solar, waste-to-energy, landfill gas, and energy efficiency technologies to meet the U.S. Virgin Islands' (USVI) 60% fossil fuel reduction goal by 2025. As a group, they developed and began executing an energy roadmap for the USVI. NREL also conducted grid studies that provided information on the economic and technical feasibility of integrating high-penetration renewable energy technologies into the islands' distribution systems.

NREL worked with the local utility to reduce project uncertainty and successfully execute two new power purchase agreements for more than 9 megawatts of utility-scale solar. NREL also supported the development of transparent interconnections policies and procedures that have significantly decreased the time and expense associated with developing distributed generation (DG) solar projects.  Fifteen megawatts of DG solar projects have been installed over the past few years.

In December 2012, NREL wind experts assisted with the installation of anemometer towers and sonic detection and ranging equipment on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix to collect 'bankable' data that will soon be used for the development of a utility-scale wind project in the territory.

When the EDIN-USVI energy project was launched in 2009, the USVI residential islands, comprising St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, and Water Island were nearly 100% dependent on fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. Find out how they are doing today: USVI Makes Headway Toward Goal to Reduce Fossil Fuel 60% by 2025.

Additional Information

Learn more about NREL's Technical Assistance for Islands and the Energy Development in Island Nations initiative.