Photos: Workers preparing site for Piarco Solar Farm in Piarco Trinidad which will consist of ground-mounted solar panels installed over an area of 1.54 hectares with an annual generation capacity of 1,443,830 kilowatt-hours.
January 3, 2023
The Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Minister of Planning and Development, is announcing that the Solar Park Project has broken ground at the Piarco International Airport and a significant amount of work is underway regarding design approvals, procurement and construction works for the project.
The Piarco Solar Park is a collaboration between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
As of November 2022, all of the prerequisite activities related to the project were 100% complete. Procurement works were 48% complete and construction work 30% complete.
The Honourable Minister reiterates that, “the installation of this commercial-scale solar farm at the Piarco International Airport, represents action that Trinidad and Tobago is undertaking, assisted by our international partners, to meet our climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement. These commitments are aimed at achieving our Nationally Determined Contribution, as part of the global effort to constrain global temperatures to survivable levels, and to target the sectors responsible for our highest emissions, the power generation, transportation and industrial sectors.”
Minister Beckles also states that, “this initiative is a turning point in the power generation sector and in the national climate change agenda. The existential threat posed by climate change requires action by every country, and the international climate policy framework has responded through legal instruments requiring and guiding actions to be undertaken. As part of implementing the 2011 National Climate Change Policy, the “Strategy for Reduction of Carbon Emissions (CRS-Carbon Reduction Strategy)” was developed and adopted in 2015, establishing a mitigation action plan targeting the country’s three main emitting sectors; electrical power generation, industry, and transport, over the period 2013 - 2040. This was the policy basis for Trinidad and Tobago’s Nationally Determined Contribution or NDC, and represents our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as required under the Paris Agreement. In addition, this project demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the national development strategy, Vision 2030 through the attainment of SDG 13: Climate Action.”
The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) is a flagship initiative of the European Union, geared towards helping the world's most vulnerable countries to address the issue of climate change. Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Planning and Development was able to partner with the Delegation of the European Union, to ensure that we were able to design projects allowing access to the GCCA+ programme contributing to the achievement of our NDC. The solar farm, which is managed by the Airports Authority, will consist of ground-mounted solar panels installed over an area of 1.54 hectares with an annual generation capacity of 1,443,830 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which represents 7.1% of the total amount of electricity consumed at the Piarco International Airport. This project could potentially reduce annual emissions of carbon dioxide by 1,010 metric tonnes, and contribute to an overall reduction in Trinidad and Tobago’s carbon footprint.
The Honourable Minister is hopeful that this solar farm at the Piarco International Airport serves as inspiration to the wider public and private sectors on the potential of Solar and Renewable Energy, as we do our part for a better planet for all of us.