To address these challenges, the United Arab Emirates, under its UAE-Caribbean Renewably Energy Fund, will fund renewable energy power system hardware in Dominica and Barbuda on a grant basis to enable reconstruction and lower power costs. The estimated total value of both projects is approximately $6 million. In Barbuda, the grant will finance a solar PV and battery solution that constitutes the first phase of power system reconstruction. For Dominica, the commitment will provide a battery storage project to support the country's upcoming geothermal project, which will be Dominica's first Independent Power Producer, with a generating capacity of 7MW, as well as existing hydro plants. These projects were identified in cooperation with the governments of both Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.
The UAE aims to finalize the scope of work in Barbuda (solar PV and lithium-ion battery storage) and Dominica (battery storage) within Q2 2018, allowing procurement to begin shortly thereafter. The start of construction will depend on confirmation of land availability and grid interconnection by the partner governments, but the estimated construction requirement is 9 months for Dominica and 12 months for Antigua and Barbuda.
Dominica and Barbuda are two islands that were heavily damaged during the 2017 hurricane season and require assistance to rebuild their energy systems in a more resilient way. Hurricane Irma passed directly over Barbuda, knocking out the entire electrical grid and damaging approximately 95% of all structures. Dominica experienced a direct hit from Hurricane Maria where the electrical grid was also taken out and more than 80% of infrastructure was damaged. The destruction of the power systems, high cost of rebuilding, and need for renewable energy to replace older grid systems have created a need for significant support for these countries, to facilitate both the immediate recovery from the storms and the long-term sustainability of these countries' energy sectors.
The UAE welcomes additional partners to scale up this work, particularly for the second phase of power system reconstruction on Barbuda.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is offering financial and technical support to the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica to procure solar PV and storage systems for their respective countries.