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Microgrid Training Centre at the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory

The Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (DBML), known for its expertise in coral reef biology and tropical coastal processes, has recently seen the installation and inauguration of a Microgrid Training Centre. The installation of a new 75kW Miocrogrid system with battery back-up, SCADA system and supporting infrastructure, positions DBML as the Northern Caribbean’s first Centre of Excellence for SMART grid training, research and education. Prior to the installation, the DBML benefited from two (2) solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (10kW in 2015 & 20kW in 2017) with power generating capacity of approximately 4,400 kW per month. The addition of the new Microgrid Training Centre will see the DBML being 100% powered by renewable energy resulting in per annum savings of USD $14,300 and the mitigation of 90 to 100 metric tonnes of CO2.  The upgraded laboratory facility will also serve as a teaching and research centre. Students enrolled in The UWI's Environmental Physics, Alternative Energy, and Power Engineering courses, as well as industry practitioners will have access to the facility for teaching, learning, research and as a testing centre for SMART grid technology.

Recognising the critical role of academic institutions in facilitating the region’s sustainable energy transition, in the framework of the project Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC), funded by the German Government and the European Union, GIZ signed a financing agreement in August 2020 with The UWI, Mona to support the establishment of the Microgrid Training Centre and provide technical assistance to the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) toward strengthening teacher training in administering the CAPE Green Engineering Syllabus. The TAPSEC will also support the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient (CEREEE), one of its implementing partners, in the identification of the appropriate strategies and programmes to be developed to position the UWI’s Cave Hill and St. Augustine campuses as centres of research and teaching in solar thermal and e-mobility respectively.

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Published on 05 Aug, 2022

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