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Richard Branson Powers Private Island with Renewables

February 10, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

BVI Energy ManageNRG Energy will install renewable power for Richard Branson’s private Necker Island, part of the British Virgin Islands.

Pursuant to a Diesel Reduction Agreement between NRG and Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, NRG will develop a renewables-driven micro-grid for the entire island, supplying electricity powered at least 75 percent by an integrated array of solar, wind and energy storage technologies.

The micro-grid system will be supported by new energy efficiency and energy control automation designed to reduce overall energy use and synchronize energy consumption with renewable energy production on the island.

The agreement was signed and announced at the Creating Climate Wealth Summit, hosted last week by Branson’s non-profit Carbon War Room, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute. The Necker Island Project will help demonstrate how island nations can switch to renewables.

The summit was attended by representatives of other Caribbean island countries that are developing new energy projects, including St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands.

Renewables-driven micro-grids typically use diesel generation – which currently is the primary source of electricity on most islands in the Caribbean – as a backup to solar, wind, geothermal and other renewables, drastically reducing diesel consumption while making the model compatible with existing infrastructure.

Photo: BVI via Shutterstock



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