Connect with us

News

Turks and Caicos Islands Introduces Ambitious Renewable Energy Legislation to Ensure a Sustainable and Clean Energy Future  

Published

on

#TurksandCaicos, November 14, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are taking a significant step towards a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable future with the introduction of the groundbreaking Renewable Energy and Resource Planning Bill 2023. After an extensive period of public consultation, the government is unveiling a comprehensive Legislation that is aimed at transforming the energy landscape, fostering energy independence, promoting economic growth, and preserving the natural beauty of these islands.

The new Renewable Energy and Resource Planning Bill 2023 encompasses a wide range of objectives, all designed to contribute to a brighter future for the Turks and Caicos Islands:

Transition to Clean Energy Sources: The Legislation aims to achieve a substantial reduction in the reliance on fossil fuels by increasing the share of renewable energy in the national energy mix. The goal is to reach 33% of energy supplies from renewable sources by the year 2040.

Renewable Energy Infrastructure: The Legislation encourages the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind, and ocean energy, through incentives, subsidies, and regulatory support. It also emphasizes the importance of grid integration and energy storage solutions.

Investment and Financing: The government seeks to attract private sector investments in renewable energy projects through tax incentives, grants, and other financial mechanisms. Partnerships with international organizations and donor agencies will be explored to secure funding for renewable energy initiatives.

Job Creation and Economic Growth: The government aims to stimulate the growth of a sustainable renewable energy industry, creating jobs and driving economic development. It will also support research and development activities to foster innovation and competitiveness in the renewable energy sector.

Environmental Conservation: Mitigating the environmental impact of energy production is a key priority, focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing damage to ecosystems. Responsible siting and development of renewable energy projects will be emphasized.

Energy Resilience: Enhancing the resilience of the energy infrastructure to withstand natural disasters and climate change-related challenges is crucial. Microgrid solutions and distributed energy resources will be explored to ensure critical infrastructure has a continuous power supply during a Natural Disaster.

Policy and Regulatory Framework: The Legislation includes the development and updating of policies, regulations, and standards to support the growth of renewable energy while removing barriers to its adoption. Transparent and streamlined permitting processes for renewable energy projects will be ensured.

The Renewable Energy Bill’s overarching goal is to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, increase energy diversity, enhance energy security, and support the transition to a sustainable energy future that will benefit the environment and the residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A key component of this Legislation is introducing a competitive Tendering Process run by the Energy and Utilities Department. This will ensure that the least-cost bids for renewable energy projects are chosen. This approach aims to promote energy affordability and reduce dependence on fossil fuels while diversifying energy sources for reliability and security.

Renewable energy producers must obtain licenses and pay a small levy to support public interest renewable energy initiatives and research. This step ensures fairness and promotes the growth of renewable energy systems on the islands.

Additionally, the Legislation introduces a Net-Billing Program that allows building and business owners to install renewable energy systems to meet some or all of their energy needs. Surplus electricity can be sold to the grid, with payments linked to the Monthly Fuel Factor.

The Turks and Caicos Energy and Utilities Commissioner will play a central role in overseeing and regulating these measures, ensuring the safe design and operation of renewable energy systems, licensing compliance, and setting performance standards for timely grid connections.

The Energy and Utilities Commissioner, Engineer Delano R. Arthur, states, “Powering the future with renewable energy is not just a goal; it’s our responsibility. We can no longer sit idle, but together, we must light the way toward a sustainable and brighter tomorrow.”

Hon. Otis C. Morris, The Minister for Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities, says, “Effective energy regulation is the compass guiding our journey towards a cleaner, more sustainable, and energy-secure future. Our commitment to smart, responsible policies shapes the path to a brighter tomorrow.”

The government is committed to integrating renewable energy policies with broader energy policies to ensure that the development of non-renewable energy facilities is consistent with the transition to cleaner and greener energy systems.

The Renewable Energy and Resource Planning Bill 2023 represents a significant step forward in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ journey towards a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and economically vibrant future. It is a testament to the government’s commitment to securing a cleaner, more affordable, and more resilient energy landscape for all residents and the environment.

For more information about the Renewable Energy Legislation and its components, please refer to the full Legislation within the Gazette, or you can contact the Energy and Utilities Commissioner, Engr—Delano R. Arthur, at eud@gov.tc.

Continue Reading

Crime

Assistance Needed in Identifying Murder Victim

Published

on

***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

June 16th, 2024.

The Serious Crimes Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police yesterday (June 15th)  evening responded to a report of a shooting death.

Upon arrival at a location along Five Cays and South Dock Road, Providenciales, officers observed the body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

The victim is approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall. He was found wearing red shorts, blue underpants, and a pair of black and white slippers and was shirtless. The individual had a dreadlocks hairstyle.

There were tattoos on both his arms and a cross under both eyes.

The estimated age of the victim is between 25 to 40 years old.

We are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying this individual.

Anyone with information that may help in this investigation is urged to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information on this murder anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app to share information anonymously.

 

Murder scene photo by Wilkie Arthur, Eagle Legal News Media

Continue Reading

News

The Truth about Heaving Down Rock, the National Trust Vs Lew1 Shipping  

Published

on

By Hon. Ralph Higgs

 

As humans, it is very easy to forget what the past looked like when we struggle with today’s challenges. Lately, I’ve been reminiscing about the time that I served as the Member of Parliament for North and Middle Caicos from 2016 to 2021. Alongside my dedicated PDM colleagues, we poured our hearts into making life better for the constituents of ED4 and the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Among the many projects we championed, the transformation of Heaving Down Rock in Leeward, Providenciales, stands out vividly in my memory.

Heaving Down Rock has always been more than just a loading point for mariners; it is a symbol of our rich heritage and the spirit of our people. However, before the improvements, the PNP government was comfortable with Heaving Down Rock being nothing but a quarry loading dock, devoid of basic facilities. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the PNP government gave this public property to a party supporter prioritizing personal connections over the public good. Thankfully, that supporter donated it to the National trust after the public got wind of it.

Today, as a result of the work under my Ministry and the PDM Administration, the Heaving Down Rock facility is comfortably used and enjoyed by the commuters of Pine and Parrot Cay, aquatic operators, and cargo and ferry services. The facility is even casually used by individuals and groups for relaxation or fishing.

As we navigate the present and look toward the future, it is crucial to remember these lessons. Our progress from 2016 to 2021 shows what can be achieved with dedication and a genuine commitment to the people’s welfare.

As a proud Turks and Caicos Islander, who has always held the country’s best interest at heart, I can assure you that I will continue to build on our progress.

The impasse that currently exists between the National Trust and Lew1 Shipping is nothing short of a national crisis which has serious and direct implications for the people and businesses on North and Middle Caicos and all the cays in between.

This PNP government should not have allowed it to come to this point. They must intervene forthwith to rectify this situation. It is impractical, if not impossible for Lew1 shipping to operate from South Dock. It will increase the already high freight between Providenciales, Pine and Parrot Cay, North and Middle Caicos by at least three (3) fold. And as most of the journey now would be on the high seas; the ocean, there could be many days when the sea is too rough for Lew1 to travel from South Dock to North Caicos and the islands in between. Thereby making a bad situation even worse.

When I was in office, on many ocassions, the National Trust had proposed increasing the cost to Lew1 Shipping out of Heaving Down Rock. Me and my government resisted as we could not support any higher freight on the backs of the people and businesses of our islands. There were also several ocassions when the National Trust sought to close down Lew1 Shipping operations for non-payment. But again, me and my government intervened. We made sure negotiations continued between Lew1 Shipping and National Trust to prevent any disruption in the  important service that Lew1 Shipping provides to the family islands.

Successsive governments have provided subsidies to local airlines that operate between our islands. They have also provided subsidies for the ferry to run between Salt Cay and Grand Turk. Most recently, the government wrote off almost $2M worth of debt owning to TCIG by these airlines. The time has perhaps comes for the governement to look at the situation that currently exists between Lew1 Shipping and the National Trust. Surely, it could insist that the two parties negotiate a settlement to this matter while it considers a path to settle the debt owing to the National Trust by Lew1 Shipping.

The National Trust is a quasi-government entity and it raises funds through fees levied on users of our national parks and facilities such as Heaving Down Rock etc. Historcially, the National Trust has been poorly subvented and it has been responsible for raising up to 60% of its budget. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the last meaningful increase which the National Trust received to its subvention came under the former PDM administration. This PNP government has not not seen it fit to increase the National Trust subvention in any direct meaningful way. I am reliably informed that the staff of the National Trust did not even benefit from the increase in salaries that this government implemented a few months ago.

I am certain that the current situation between the National Trust and Lew1 Shipping didn’t happen in a vacuum, neither did it happen overnight. The fact that this government could allow the lifeline of North and Middle Caicos and the resort islands of Parrot Cay and Pine Cay to be cut demonstrates the lack of appreciation for value that Lew1 shipping brings to these islands and they simply do not care of about the struggles at the people and businesses face on daily basis.  I am sincerely and respectfully urging the government to order the National Trust to allow Lew1 Shipping to resume operations forthwith and to commence the necessary arrangements to write-off this small debt of approximately of $100,000 which represents about 4 years worth of fees that is owed to the National Trust  by Lew1 Shipping and to find an amicable way to address the other concerns raised by the National Trust.

 

 

Contact Details:

Ralph Higgs

Tel: 649.232.3917

Email: ralphhiggs46@gmail.com

Continue Reading

News

TCI Red Cross Hits New Heights with 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge Success  

Published

on

June 13, 2024: PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS: The TCI Red Cross recently hosted their successful 3rd Annual Red Hot Challenge, a testament to the organization’s commitment to community engagement and humanitarian efforts.

This year’s event, held at the National Stadium in Providenciales, brought together over 13 teams in a thrilling display of sportsmanship and skills. The Beaches Marlins emerged victorious, with the Amanyara Cruisers in second place and the Beaches Pirates in third.

Speaking on the event, TCI Red Cross Director Candianne Williams said, “Year after year, the Red Hot Challenge fundraiser has grown more successful, and we really could not have done it without the support we have received from our participating teams, sponsors, volunteers and supporters.”

She continued, “When we started the Red Hot Challenge series of fundraisers, our goal was not only to raise funds for the work we do here at the Red Cross but also to create an event that would bring together the community in a spirit of unity, support, and fun-filled camaraderie.”

This year’s event showcased an active lineup of exciting competitions, which included traditional favorites like arm wrestling and tug-of-war, alongside engaging challenges such as football tosses, planks, spoon relay races, egg tosses, water balloon tosses, sprint races, and soccer kicks.

Williams added, “The games were not only interactive for the participants but also fun, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Beaches Marlins on winning first place in this year’s competition, as well as the Amanyara Cruisers on their second place and the Beaches Pirates on coming in third, respectively.”

Keneisha Thompson, the Turks and Caicos Athletics Association representative, emphasized, “We commend the teams for their participation, especially as this is the only event in the TCI for sporting participants. Their dedication this year, from organizing the rules to meeting the teams and executing the event, is truly remarkable.”

The annual Red Hot Challenge stands as a cornerstone of the organization’s acclaimed ‘Red Hot’ fundraising series, serving as a pivotal event in the TCI Red Cross’s fundraising initiatives. This series has witnessed the success of two corporate sports days and two fashion extravaganzas. These events not only raise crucial funds but also foster community engagement and support for the humanitarian work of the TCI Red Cross.

Karen Whitt of the Hartling Group, who serves as Chair of the TCIRC Fundraising Committee, commended the participants, stating, “Congratulations to all of the participants; you are all winners for supporting this year’s Red Hot Challenge. The event’s success is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our community to support the vital work of the Red Cross in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

This year’s team lineup featured the Beaches Marlins, Amanyara Cruisers, Beaches Pirates, NSS Destroyers, CHHS Eagles, Waterloo Worriers, The Palms, Royal TCI Police Enforcers, Louise Garland High School, NCS, The Sands, and The Source. Proud sponsors of the team included The Strand and The Marlin Limited, with Powerade joining as the official drink sponsor of the games.

The next Red Hot Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2025, at the National Stadium on Providenciales. For more information on the TCI Red Cross and its activities, please visit their website at https://www.redcross.org.tc/ and follow their social media accounts: Turks and Caicos Red Cross on Facebook and @TCIRedcross_ on Instagram.

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING