Renewable Energy Will Significantly Reduce Money Spent on Oil – Minister

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley . (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says Jamaica’s potential to generate and utilise renewable energy would significantly reduce what the country consumes and spends on oil.
  • Dr. Wheatley was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 37-megawatt solar-powered plant at Paradise Park in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland, on December 13.
  • He further highlighted that the Government, having embraced the drive towards greater inclusion of renewable energy, has committed to energy security through the diversification of its energy products, aided by the legislative and regulatory framework that currently exists.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says Jamaica’s potential to generate and utilise renewable energy would significantly reduce what the country consumes and spends on oil.

This, he said, will place Jamaica on the right trajectory to supply not only residential customers but the productive sector with affordable energy.

Dr. Wheatley was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 37-megawatt solar-powered plant at Paradise Park in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland, on December 13.

He outlined that the power plant will be the largest and most cost-efficient in the Caribbean.

“Energy fuels growth, and as a Ministry, we have a responsibility to ensure that we provide the energy sector not only with clean energy but affordable energy,” the Minister said.

He further highlighted that the Government, having embraced the drive towards greater inclusion of renewable energy, has committed to energy security through the diversification of its energy products, aided by the legislative and regulatory framework that currently exists.

“Through our net billing arrangement, Jamaicans with renewable energy systems can sell the excess power generated from these systems to the JPS upon obtaining a licence. So far, we have granted some 590 net billing licences, and I know that many more Jamaicans will take advantage of this opportunity,” the Minister said.

He highlighted the renewable energy being supplied by the 24-megawatt wind facility at Wigton Windfarm in Manchester; the 36-megawatt facility at Munro, St. Elizabeth; and the commissioning of the first solar photovoltaic (PV) 20-megawatt facility in Content, Clarendon.

According to Minister Wheatley, the additional 37-megawatt solar facility in Westmoreland will further position Jamaica as a significant player in the production of renewable energy.

“In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranked Jamaica as number one in the Caribbean as it relates to energy diversification,” he noted.

The 37-megawatt solar-powered plant is estimated to cost US$60 million, and will be constructed by Eight Rivers Energy Company.

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