Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell (centre), in discussion with Managing Director, ATL Group of Companies, Danville Walker (left), and Business to Business Sales General Manager, Panasonic Latin America, Rafael Linares, during the ATL/Panasonic Energy Forum held in Kingston on Wednesday, June 4. JIS Photo
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Jamaica is on the way to becoming the leading Caribbean country in the use of renewable sources of energy, specifically solar, hydropower and wind.
This declaration was made by minister of science, technology, energy and mining, Phillip Paulwell, who predicted that, by mid-2015, Jamaica will be the top country in the region in terms of its use of renewables.
He was speaking on Wednesday at the ATL/Panasonic Energy Forum held in Kingston.
“There will be no other country to match Jamaica next year, when, in addition to the 40 megawatts of wind that we now generate, plus about 20 megawatts of hydropower, we are going to be introducing 78 additional megawatts of [renewable energy to the national grid],” said Paulwell.
The additional 78MW will be generated from two wind projects that will offer 58MW, with the remaining 20MW to come from solar.
Paulwell said that he is about to receive recommendations for licences for the projects from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), while the power purchase agreements (PPAs) will shortly be finalised.
Three bidders have been selected for the projects. They are Blue Mountain Renewables LLC, to supply 34MW of capacity from wind power; Wigton Windfarm Limited, to supply 24MW of capacity from wind power; and WRB Enterprises Inc., to supply 20MW of capacity from solar photovoltaic sources.
Paulwell reiterated the ministry’s plans through its National Energy Policy (NEP) 2009-2030, to pursue fuel diversification, and the development of the country’s renewable energy sources.
He emphasised that the request for renewable electrical energy and capacity from renewable sources is in keeping with government’s vision of having 12.5 percent electrical energy from renewable energy sources by 2015 as set out in the NEP 2009-2030 and the draft National Renewable Energy Policy (NREP) 2010-2030.