Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2024

Sol Ecolution Investing In Sustainability Through Renewable Energy Agreement with NIPA

CAY HILL — Sol Ecolution, the low-carbon and renewable energy division of The Sol Group, has signed its first renewable energy agreement in St. Maarten with the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA). The agreement will see Sol Ecolution providing the academic institution, which offers advanced vocational education for students, with a renewable energy solution that will significantly reduce the institution’s reliance on electricity.

The renewable energy solution comes in the form of a fit-for-purpose solar photovoltaic (PV) system that will be installed on the Skill Lab roof of the NIPA’s facility, reducing NIPA’s reliance on  electricity from the grid– all without any upfront costs from NIPA as the project is being financed by Sol. Sol and NIPA’s longstanding collaboration extends beyond supporting the development of local talent to also investing in environmental sustainability. Through its corporate social responsibility arm, Sol takes pride in supporting NIPA by supplying LPG for culinary programs and lubricants for automotive programs. Now, Sol aims to bolster this partnership by offering curriculum and hands-on training for solar installations, aiding the island’s shift towards renewable energy.

The agreement places NIPA, whose vision is to be a model of innovation, inclusiveness and excellence in professional vocational education, at the front of the field in the educational arena when it comes to embracing and integrating renewable technology solutions into its operations.

Stuart Bannister, Project Manager for Sol Ecolution says that the solar project is expected to offset annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 58.5 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to around 5,740 gallons of diesel. It is projected that, over the next 25 years, NIPA will save US$207,000 on electricity bills. While the solar PV system was conceptualized with NIPA’s own energy consumption in mind, the system can be upgraded to feed into the national grid, should the national infrastructure be put in place in the future. And, because the implementation costs of NIPA’s renewable energy project are wholly financed by Sol, NIPA doesn’t have to pay any upfront costs.

The NIPA is proud to partner with SOL Antilles NV ( St. Maarten) in this historical milestone.  For us, this is about fulfilling our vision to be the leading technical vocational institute in the North-Eastern Caribbean , by ensuring that we protect the environment of our Country, stated drs. Peggy-Ann Dros , Chairlady of the NIPA Board of Directors. The sentiments were echoed by the entire team , by further enforcing the statement that each positive step in the right direction , secures a future for all.

Robert-Jan James, General Manager of Sol Antilles, N.V. (St. Maarten) refers to Sol Ecolution as a purpose-driven organization with a commitment to help Caribbean islands transition to renewable energy to help reduce the impact of climate change. While acknowledging that such conversions can help companies rein in costs, he said that the conversation has to be more than about saving money. “It has to also be about saving the environment”, he said.

Commenting on Sol Ecolution’s first renewable energy project in St. Maarten, James said that the company is excited about the development and that it is committed to supporting the communities it serves to transition to a sustainable energy future. He added that he is confident that this will project will further contribute to conversations about the movement of the island towards more sustainable forms of energy. He encouraged both private and public sector organizations begin converting their energy usage to more renewable and sustainable forms of power.

Sol Antilles N.V. (St. Maarten) played a pivotal role in this exciting development alongside Sol Ecolution. Sol Ecolution is co-owned by Sol Investments SEZC, which is a subsidiary of Parkland Corporation, a Canadian-based international fuel distributor and retailer with operations in 25 countries. Parkland has set up several climate-related targets to propel its climate contributions and environmental stewardship, and to provide its customers with lower-carbon and renewable choices.