Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has welcomed the installation of a hybrid wind turbine system at a residential home in St. Elizabeth.
The $14 million unit, set up by Canadian national, Dr. Eugene Kholov and his Jamaican wife Michelle at their holiday home in Fullerswood, is said to be the largest residential system of the kind in the Caribbean. It is designed to generate up to 10,000 kilowatt-hour (KwH) from wind and 164 kWh of energy from the sun.
The house, which has air conditioning units installed in all of its 12 apartments, along with television and other electronic appliances, now operates independently of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) grid, saving the owners in excess of $120,000 monthly in electricity cost.
Minister Paulwell, who attended an open house hosted by the owners on Wednesday June 6, to show off the system, commended the Kholovs for leading in the use of alternate energy.
“I am delighted to be here this evening because we in Jamaica have created history somewhat, in that we have seen the establishment of the largest residential solar and wind facility in the Caribbean. What the investors have done today is to completely remove themselves from the grid by providing this facility that has sufficient battery storage to enable the operations at these premises to be conducted uninterrupted from renewable sources,” he pointed out.
He advised that persons can access loans from the National Housing Trust (NHT) to establish solar systems.
Minister Paulwell said that the Government is committed to enabling greater inputs from renewable energy to meet 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs, and is pursuing measures such as net-billing to accommodate the addition of renewable sources to the national grid at prices that are reasonable.
He said that focus is also being placed on electricity distribution and “to see how we can accommodate more de-regulation and competition in the way electricity is distributed. In all of this, we are seeking to maintain the viability of JPS, but we cannot continue at such high rates, because the country will not see any kind of development."
By Glenis A. Rose, JIS Reporter