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#404228 - 04/06/11 06:19 PM Clean energy / energy costs
mratzburg Offline

As I recent visitor to Caye Caulker, I was struck by nice sunlight each day and that diesel generators seem to supply the island with power. I noticed a few houses with solar panels but was left wondering

1. What are the costs of electricity on Caye Caulker?
2. Does the power company allow grid-tie solar systems (where you link the solar panels into the power grid - supplying power to the grid if you do not use all of it on-site.)

In Utila, Honduras, the Utila power company maintains a monopoly and will not allow grid tie systems. They ensure high prices and have unreliable services. Curious to learn more about Caye Caulker.


#404232 - 04/06/11 08:25 PM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: mratzburg]
Dane Offline
They are a Canadian company and are trying their first grid tie on the mainland.
Electric costs about US$.22 KW/Hr
Demand away from the center for solar is large. Thee are 20+ solar homes in the South alone

Edited by Dane (04/06/11 08:26 PM)

#404242 - 04/06/11 11:07 PM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: mratzburg]
ron Offline
I have a house on the north island and have both solar and wind. Got more than I can use but even when the power comes north won't be able to sell to the power company. But it also doesn't cost me so I guess I'm ahead by not having to pay.

#404262 - 04/07/11 09:10 AM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: mratzburg]
Dane Offline
I am interested in selling power to the unserved markets with 5-20KW solar/wind systems that sit near clusters of clients and sell 110v.
We have clients but the school takes up all my time.

Edited by Dane (04/07/11 09:10 AM)

#407998 - 05/17/11 01:40 PM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: mratzburg]
kmsqrd Offline
This is a fantastic post. I was wondering if those who are able could "donate" for lack of a better word, to those who need it? Maybe a barter situation? Is there local regulations on running electric from one home or business to another?
"Earth is an insane asylum, to which other planets deport their lunatics" Voltaire

#408148 - 05/19/11 05:56 AM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: kmsqrd]
JdeVerteuil Offline
Actually it would be more feasable to start an Electrci Co-Op. Combine resources and and when you pay off the bills at the end of the year everyone gets a refund of a percentage of the moneys remaining.
The gentleman that metioned he had excess electric production could have saved cost on intial install if North Caye Caulker land owners connected their own mini grid.
John deVerteuil

#408151 - 05/19/11 07:11 AM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: JdeVerteuil]
ron Offline
Have you spent any time researching laws in Belize regarding electricity and the formation of a cooperative. Most of the people who are NOW living on the North island have power for there own needs. More power is for expansion. How much will you pay to put up the poles necessary to connect all the houses that are on the North island. They stretch the entire length of the island. How do I save when I'd have to build a grid that BEL doesn't seem to think is economically feasible?

#408256 - 05/20/11 12:49 AM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: ron]
JdeVerteuil Offline
The savings are not immediate as you know, the grid is from your house to your neighbors using buried cables (less damage during hurricanes).
As the North Island grows your energy production grid grows as well. Using the same calculations that you did when you built your system per house or commercial property. Here is the benefit, the houses that are vacation homes still connect into the grid and continuously produce for the grid. Battery backup systems can be connected as well so as to provide power during the night.
In the future fuel and energy cost will increase (energy cost in the US is projected to double in five years) this will raise your .22/Kw to .44/Kw. Solar panals can produce 300w at this time, in five years they are projected to produce 1kw/ panel. The cost of a solar/ wind power system is not the equipment but the install. The money that a community pools together to install renewable systems will significantly benefit the community in the next 5-10 years.
I am still learning more about these systems as is anyone in this business, which I am not. I have not looked into the laws of Belize in regards to coops, but will do so during my next visit.
I believe that it can be done but would require a group of interested parties to sit down and discuss appropriate courses of action.
John deVerteuil

#408262 - 05/20/11 06:39 AM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: JdeVerteuil]
ron Offline
The plan is to have above ground poles. If you look on the north island you will see the first one. Belizean law gives the right to only BEL to distribute power. So you need to start your research with the reality of what can be done and what is in the works, telling people who have property and those who live on the north island what to do is typical for people with little experience in the realities of living on the North island. The install costs were small in comparision to the costs for the equipment. My turbine cost about $10,000 US, the batteries another $5,000us and the solar panel about $3,000us. To install the system was to dig 5 holes for the anchors and a bunch of concrete and rebar. So how do you figure the install is costly?

#408973 - 05/31/11 09:27 AM Re: Clean energy / energy costs [Re: ron]
JdeVerteuil Offline
You spent close to $25k USD to complete your system. You are producing more than enough electricity for your house, as you stated earlier. If we were neighbors and we combined our efforts your cost is cut by about 40%. We use each others solar and a joint wind turbine to provide power and charge our system. I would have to install solar panels as well hence the 40% savings and not 50%.
BEL is the only authorized company in Belize to SELL electricity. We are not, we are sharing a resource that you and I have installed.
As far as being in NCC you are correct, but this is not an NCC specific issue. This is a micro grid system that we are researching here in Afganistan.
John deVerteuil

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