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UVI Signs Solar Power Purchase Agreement
Date:8/2/2013

in Islands. “I have been told that energy cost are so high in the Virgin Islands that people must choose between buying medicine or food or paying your energy bills – that must change,” said Dr. Kathuria. “We hope that this project here will be the beginning to help lower the energy infrastructure cost by 50 percent – not only here in the University, but the entire island.”

As part of the agreement, UVI faculty will conduct cutting-edge research through a partnership with NGP and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation. Galvin Center Director Mohammad Shahidehpour said that the institute has been operating on a microgrid and generates its own power independently. “We used to spend over a million a year just to manage outages,” he said. “Ever since we converted the campus to a microgrid I am glad to report that we have no outages. We have brought that expense to zero.” Dr. Shahidehpour is looking forward to the day that he can return to the University and see the same operation.

Sen. Donald Cole, Virgin Islands Legislature Energy and Environmental Protection Committee chair, was excited that UVI students and faculty would benefit from the agreement. “This historic day allows the University to start the path to becoming self-sufficient for its energy needs,” said Sen. Cole “As we journey through this plan to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and energy demand reduction – it gives us a chance to prepare our students and develop our workforce. Today is a great start towards the path.”

UVI has long ventured into the realm of renewable energy and had originally sought to use wind. Dr. Hall thanked all stakeholders for their vision. He said the UVI is on its way to meet its renewable energy goal. “Our vision is to become completely energy independent,” Dr. Hall said. “Our vision is to become a model for how innovation can be used to address our most crippling challenges. Our vision is to ensure that the Virgi
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