AS the world gradually moves to cleaner energy, Cerebrum Energy Services Limited located on Edward Street in Port of Spain is doing its part to provide households, companies and industries with renewable electricity from wasted energy.
The company’s mission is to redefine energy waste as a resource for the future.
In an interview last Friday with Express Business, Hammon St John, managing director of Cerebrum said his main goal in life was to set up a company to meet the rising demand for energy through smart and sustainable measures.
St John, 36, said his team—whose expertise is in hybrid renewable energy and international occupational health and safety—began working on forming the energy company in 2019 and it was registered in February 2021.
“I went to Austria in 2019, where I met with two Trinidadians, one who works in Austria and the other from the Czech Republic. That is when we came together to put this team and management in place. We also have an electrical engineer and project manager from Germany, who was part of the German conversion to renewable energy in 2012 after the Fukishima disaster. So the company is built on a solid foundation” said St John.
The managing director identified the investors and partners who will be part of the projects in Trinidad and Tobago, which are:
• Reentech Energy Solutions Czech Republic
• Qualitech Machining Services
• NFA Technologies Limited
• Schrott24 — Online recycling platform
• Energy Services Gmbh — Data management
• Precision Designs - Precision mechanical Designs.
St John outlined that NFA Technologies Limited would be responsible for the installation of the biomass treatment equipment and whatever other facilities are needed, while Qualitech Machining Services Limited will be handling the electrical installations and waste separations.
According to St John, Cerebrum secured a project for the installation of renewable electricity infrastructure in 100 homes in Curepe, Mount Hope and Point Lisas along with wastewater treatment plants in each of those areas. This project will be rolled out in August of this year.
“The microgrid designs for the houses will begin June 1, as the company will have to install some equipment to test the grids and then in August roll out the renewable electricity. Cerebrum has memorandums of understanding to finance equipment for as much as 72 million kWh a month of renewable electricity. This is enough electricity for 20,000 households.”
He explained to maximise this financing, Cerebrum will use 90 per cent of its renewable power equipment to supply industries like green hydrogen, oxygen and biogas production.
“For every 1kWh of power used in a house or business 9kWh are used for industrial purposes The company then analyses energy supplies and seeks ways to get the financing and equipment needed. We then design microgrids at low upfront costs to customers. These upfront costs are mostly as low as their monthly electricity bill.”
He noted that this initiative will save Trinidad and Tobago millions in natural gas costs, which is used to subsidise electricity.
“72 million kWh a month converted to renewable energy reduces TT$58.7 million a year in operation costs for electricity from fuel surcharges. This is over 8.4 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, that can be exported instead of used for electricity. The industries we power will bring additional foreign exchange that did not exist before.”
Asked how customers who are already paying a bill to Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) would go about accessing the renewable electricity, the managing director said when customers have installed Cerebrum renewable electricity, they sign a contract giving the company permission to pay T&TEC on behalf of the customer.
“In other words, they pay us for the renewable electricity they use and then we pay their T&TEC bill. This setup does not require a direct arrangement with the Commission, besides the contract we have with customer stating that the company is paying for that bill.”
He identified the other projects that the company will be undertaking which include 1,000 connections in an unplanned housing development in Sangre Grande. These houses will be retrofitted with a sewage system to properly dispose of solid and food waste.
This project will be a joint collaboration with the Regional Corporation, that will be financed by private sector investors.
Also in Scarborough, Tobago St John said the focus is the upgrading of Scarborough Electricity and solid waste systems.
“This upgrade will be to convert 100 per cent of the power in the area to renewable electricity and 100 per cent environmentally friendly waste disposal. The projected designs will see 26,000 tonnes yearly of waste being processed and sold as biogas from refuse that would have entered rivers, beaches and landfills. The project is estimated to be 144MW of renewable electricity generation.”
The aim he said is to also expand in the Caribbean and Cerebrum is currently in talks in The Bahamas, Jamaica and other countries.
Carlos Reviero, director of product design, said he is pleased to be part of the management team and project as his expertise is in hybrid renewable energy power plants and battery energy storage systems. He said it is important for consumers to trim their electric bills and carbon output, to have a better environment.
Anshuman Serran Persad the second project manager said he has been fortunate to work alongside some of the leading renewable energy consultants and professionals worldwide for his entire career.
“Our team at Cerebrum has continued to bring my passions to reality, as we continue to play an integral role in transforming the energy sector to a sustainable future.
I am happy to bring my ten-plus years’ experience in health and safety from leading methanol producers and energy servicing companies,” Persad added.