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Story Highlights

  • The Government is now ready to offer proposals to the private sector for projects in the area of hydroelectricity.
  • The move comes following a feasibility study which shows that Jamaica can profitably generate electricity from river sources.
  • Twenty megawatts of electricity from river sources have been installed across the island, and there is potential to further explore the country’s hydro power potential.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the Government is now ready to offer proposals to the private sector for projects in the area of hydroelectricity.

The move comes following a feasibility study, commissioned by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), which shows that Jamaica can profitably generate electricity from river sources.

“We now have proposals for the private sector, where we have determined full economic feasibility….this work that the PCJ has just completed will enable private sector persons to supply to the grid, another 20 megawatts of electricity generated from our rivers all year-round, at lower prices that JPS (Jamaica Public Service) currently generates at,” the Minister informed.

He was delivering the keynote address on Wednesday, February 12, at the opening of the Top Mountain Computer and Internet Access Point in St. Catherine.

Mr. Paulwell noted that some 20 megawatts of electricity from river sources have been installed across the island, and there is potential to further explore the country’s hydro power potential.

He said that for electricity rates to drop significantly, all sources of energy must be explored and developed, and he is on that mission.

“We have sunshine, the technology now exists where daylight alone can help you to generate electricity, and we are doing work to ensure that Jamaicans can have their own solar electricity,” he stated.

The World Bank-funded study was conducted by the Italian-based company, SP Studio Pietrangeli, at five sites – Rio Cobre in St. Catherine; the Morgan’s and Negro Rivers in St. Thomas; Martha Brae in Trelawny; and the Spanish River in Portland.

It confirmed that those sites can be profitable to generate up to 67.7 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.