Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, broke ground for the new US$50 million Wigton Windfarm project (project II), located in Rose Hill, Manchester on Wednesday (March 17).
Wigton Windfarm Limited is a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). It has successfully generated and delivered approximately 306 GWh of electricity to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) grid using wind power.
The current project, Wigton I, is registered by the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, and has been trading carbon credits under an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement with the Dutch Government since 2005.
The new project will maximize wind potential and assist in meeting the renewable energy policy target of 11% by 2012, as well as offer health and environmental benefits from operating clean, renewable energy facilities, as against traditional power plants.
In his address, Mr. Roberson, said Wigton II will save the country much hard currency and, along with the soon to be established Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, will drive lower electricity costs.
“We will be using the new energy policy to drive a new Jamaica,” the Minister said.
Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Dr. Ruth Potopsingh, addressing the audience at the Wigton Windfarm 11 project in Manchester, on Wednesday (March 17).
Group Managing Director at the PCJ, Dr, Ruth Potopsingh, told the gathering that, while the Government is playing a lead role in developing the energy sector, space exists for private investments.
She said that the energy diversification strategy must be twinned with energy efficiency and conservation, on a national basis.
“As we move towards realizing the achievement of Jamaica’s energy diversification strategy, only a concerted effort will achieve the change of successful reduction of our use of petroleum energy to make the difference to our environment and most importantly, our energy bill,” she stated.
The Wigton II is 100% debt financed from the PetroCaribe Fund, and commissioning of the plant is scheduled to commence in July 2010.