Light and power company FortisTCI is to undertake a whopping $40million in renewable energy sources while cutting back on carbon fuel within the next half-decade.
This assurance was given by FortisTCI CEO and President Ruth Forbes, while addressing the recent inaugural Turks and Caicos Islands Energy Forum, put on by the power company.
“…FortisTCI is committed to investing over 40 million dollars in renewable energy and lower carbon fuel sources over the next five years,” Forbes said, stressing that for the Turks and Caicos Islands to modernize the energy section, a regulatory framework has to be in place.
“A modernized regulatory framework is, without doubt, a prerequisite to transform
the energy sector. A new regulatory framework will enable us to meet changing customer demands. And it will bring certainty, independence, and transparency to the regulatory environment,” she said.
Making a collaborative call for the Turks and Caicos Islands to play its part in the fight against climate change, Forbes emphasized that the energy future is not coming but it has arrived, and the Turks and Caicos Islands cannot afford to leave itself behind by being ill-prepared.
“Our energy future is not on some distant horizon to which we can march slowly. The energy future is here; it is now. It is about electricity produced from renewable sources such as solar, wind, biomass, and lower carbon sources like natural gas, among others. It’s about having a diversified energy mix to reduce environmental impact, cut carbon emissions, and contribute to a greener world.
“The energy future is about electric vehicles and charging stations. It is about innovation and technology to deliver the electricity we need in new ways to fuel our economy. The energy future is about finding the right mix to provide least-cost, reliable electricity in an environmentally sustainable way,” she said.
She told the forum that for an energy transformation to take place, the people will have to be a key centrepiece of the plan, which she said requires education and training.
“The energy future is about people. Stakeholders like you who want to do your part for a more sustainable world. And for us, it’s about the employees who will be at the heart of our energy transition. They require new skills sets, new training, and additional access to technology to equip them for a changing the energy industry.
“We can and must embrace an energy future built on sustainability for our economy and the planet. We have a unique opportunity to do so and to do it right,” she continued.
She added: “Ladies and gentlemen, the shift in the energy industry is not going to happen. It is happening. And let us understand one thing – if we are not part of this energy transformation, we risk being left behind.
“I dare say that customer demands are also contributing to the industry changes. Many of you in this very room understand this very well. I know because we speak to you about our renewable energy programs. Some of you have helped us achieve over 1.6MW of solar on the grid through our Utility Owned Renewable Energy program.
“Just as customer demands are changing, investors are also shifting focus. We know that ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance investing, has been gaining ground over the past five years, led by investors who want to align their investments with socially and environmentally responsible, well-governed enterprises.
“Without meaningful sustainability commitments, companies and countries like ours could find ourselves locked out of competitive financing options.”
In the meantime, Forbes reassured her company’s commitment to partnering with the people and local businesses to create an energy future, which she said would be in the best interest of the Turks and Caicos Islands.