BMR ENERGY’S ST. THOMAS SOLAR PROJECT

Building Back Better

Context

With the growing intensity of storms in the Caribbean, resilient energy infrastructure now plays a crucial role in the Caribbean’s transition to a reliable, clean power system.

The Donoe solar farm in St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands was originally built in 2015 but sustained significant damage during the 2017 hurricane season. In 2019, BMR Energy agreed to acquire the site of the original solar farm and closed on the purchase in 2020. In 2021, the team began constructing a new solar farm with significant technology advancements to improve the project’s ability to withstand tropical storms.

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6.4 megawatts of power

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14,000 solar panels
and 80 inverters

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Located in St. Thomas,
U.S. Virgin Islands

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450 W Panels

Impact

  • Supplies 10,400 MWh of power through the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.
  • Power provided to the local grid decreases the amount of fuel oil that needs to be burned to provide electricity.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 9,700 metric tons CO2 equivalent per year.
  • Increases resilience of St. Thomas energy infrastructure through strengthened design and construction features

Process

The original Donoe solar farm sustained devastating damage in 2017 and was ultimately removed from the site…

Under BMR Energy’s ownership, the Donoe solar farm is being constructed with significant technology and resiliency improvements. These improvements include stronger racking, reinforced mounting connections for the solar modules, and modern, more weather resistance inverter equipment. The racking and structural members are engineered to withstand up to 180 mph wind loads and are mounted on stronger driven piles installed deeper into the ground. The project also incorporates new drainage systems to quickly redirect stormwater away from the system and prevent water damage to the equipment.

Beyond the Project

BMR is committed to going beyond energy development to promote thriving, sustainable communities. In St. Thomas, BMR is employing local residents and contracting partners to construct and maintain the facility. The team hopes this project models a new standard for resilient solar power facilities in the Caribbean.