U.S. Virgin Islands Turns To The Sun

Territory Overview

The U.S. Virgin Islands is an unincorporated territory located in the in the northeast Caribbean sea. The population of this American territory is approximately 98,750 people.

In 2022, American Samoa’s economy was ranked 54th of the 56 states, district, and territories of the United States in gross domestic product (GDP). In 2022, the territory was dependent on tourism and the export of jewelry, buses, cars, and raw plastic sheeting.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, the United States, including territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 26% domestic reduction in greenhouse gases by 2025, compared to 2005.

In 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States formerly withdrew from the Paris Agreement on November 4, 2020.

In 2021, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would officially rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States formerly rejoined the Paris Agreement on February 19, 2021.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in the U.S. Virgin Islands had access to electricity. In 2021, the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority used refined petroleum (97.1%) and renewable energy (2.9%) to generate electricity in the territory. Solar is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in U.S. Virgin Islands.

Renewable energy developments in the U.S. Virgin Islands include:

  • 140 MW Solar + 124 MW/Hour Energy Storage Projects – In December 2023, Massachusetts solar company VI Electron announced plans to build six solar projects with battery energy storage systems (BESS) on the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The projects are forecast to be completed in 2025.
  • 18 MW Solar Project – The U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is continuing work on the St. Croix Solar photovoltaic project on the island of St. Croix. The ground-mounted solar project is forecast to be completed in 2025.
  • 4 MW Solar Project – In October 2022, New York company, BMR energy rebuilt the Donoe solar project on the island of Saint Thomas. The initial solar project built in 2015, was completely destroyed during the 2017 hurricane season.

Conclusions

The U.S. Virgin Islands imports all fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) for power generation and transportation. In 2022, this American territory imported $U.S. $900 million of refined petroleum and $U.S. $ 700 million of crude oil.

The U.S. Virgin Islands has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources including solar, onshore wind, and biomass. The U.S. Virgin Islands is now developing low-cost green energy to replace costly refined petroleum power plants.

Jack Kerfoot

Website “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

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