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Energy leaders, partners gather for Caribbean’s first clean energy technology symposium

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – April 2, 2015 – The V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), the lead organization for economic development in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), announces that about 270 attendees of the first Caribbean Clean Energy Technology Symposium (CCETS) gathered to learn and share knowledge about clean energy efficiency and security for the Caribbean last week on St. Thomas.

This symposium, co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, Caribbean-Central American Action (C-CAA), and the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was held from March 24-27, 2015 at Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. The USVI hosted this first of three annual gatherings on clean energy technology in the Caribbean region.

The CCETS brought together country and sector experts from various countries and the Caribbean region who shared best practices and worked together to identify common goals and create action plans with deliverables that will lead to increasing access to energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy technology in Caribbean nations.

This symposium included a pre-symposium on the USVI’s energy landscape by the Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO), CARICOM Secretariat’s presentation on the strategies for Caribbean sustainable energy and VRE Grid Integration, and the IDB’s stakeholder working group on natural gas.

Following these presentations were panel discussions led by energy leaders and other stakeholders. The discussion topics included assessing the current energy landscape, developing a workforce around green energy, financing clean energy technologies, and exploring how utilities in the Caribbean region and other areas are adapting to a cleaner energy economy as they maintain profitable and more sustainable operations. The Clean Energy Solutions Center also highlighted its resources, webinars and training, and expert assistance services as remarks on climate change were provided by representatives of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stakeholder working groups – guided by key stakeholders – assembled after the panel discussions to share thoughts and ideas on energy education, economic growth and clean energy, buildings and energy efficiency, electricity generation and delivery, energy assurance, base load electricity diversification and clean transportation.

The U.S. Department of Energy also presented the “Energy Transition Initiative: Islands Playbook”, an action-oriented guide with steps on how to organize for a transition towards an energy system to eliminate a dependence on one or two imported fuels by relying on local resources. The Islands Playbook also includes templates and worksheets as it highlights lessons learned from the symposium in the USVI and other areas. This session was held at the symposium’s Technology Hall, a shared space for the symposium’s presentations, exhibitor demonstrations and networking activities.

On the symposium’s final day, the Virgin Islands Economy Development Authority (VIEDA) hosted a breakfast presentation on St. Thomas on the USVI’s tax incentive program and led a site visit at the William D. Roebuck Industrial Park on St. Croix. On St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VI WAPA) led site visits of the Estate Donoe Solar Facility, the Randolph E. Harley Substation, and the Seawater Reverse Osmosis Facility.

Strategic partners of the CCETS and for future Caribbean energy initiatives include CARICOM, The Caribbean Council, CARILEC, University of the Virgin Islands’ Caribbean Green Technology Center, Institute of the Americas, New Energy Events, Organization of American States, Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority, Virgin Islands Energy Office, and the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

For more information, visit www.c-caa.org. To learn more about the “Energy Transition Initiative: Islands Playbook”, visit http://energy.gov/eere/downloads/energy-transition-initiative-islands-playbook.

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