JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Wigton III, the 24-megawatt expansion of the wind farm in Rose Hill, Manchester, was officially commissioned into service today (June 2) by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
  • The wind energy plant is expected to reduce national oil consumption by 37,000 barrels per year, which will save the country over $230 million annually.
  • A subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Wigton Windfarm Limited is the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Wigton III, the 24-megawatt expansion of the wind farm in Rose Hill, Manchester, was officially commissioned into service today (June 2) by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

The new facility, which began supplying energy to the national grid in March, consists of 12 two-megawatt wind turbines, a 9.6 kilometre transmission line and a new substation. It is projected to generate 63,072 megawatt hours annually.

Mr. Holness, speaking at the commissioning ceremony, said the opening demonstrates Jamaica’s commitment to the National Energy Policy, which provides the context for the implementation of a range of projects to reduce petroleum imports and improve  environmental stewardship.

He also spoke to the value of having a diversified mix of energy sources. “By virtue of this investment, investments in solar technology, the implementation of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) into the fuel mix, what we are about to do with waste energy and the explorations for hydro and other bio fuels, we will probably have the most diverse energy mix in the region,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Holness reiterated the goal of having renewable energy constitute 30 per cent of the total energy mix by 2030.

“The more the economy grows, we expect the demand for electricity to grow and we expect our renewable sector to expand to meet that demand,” he said.

The wind energy plant is expected to reduce national oil consumption by 37,000 barrels per year, which will save the country over $230 million annually. It also increases the renewable energy input to the national grid by over two per cent.

For his part, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley,  said the development of Wigton III is reflective of change, not just for renewable energy in Jamaica, but also for the overall energy profile of the country.

Dr. Wheatley said the Ministry will play a significant role in creating the energy architecture to enable Jamaica’s economic competitiveness. This includes the strengthening of the institutional and regulatory framework to protect the environmental, social and economic interests of Jamaica.

“(This will also) encourage policies that will facilitate greater investments in renewable energy, while modernizing the electricity generation infrastructure,” he said.

Wigton III, constructed by Spanish firm, Gamesa, was constructed at a cost of US$45 million and is the first of three renewable energy projects selected by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) in 2013 to become fully operational and begin transmission to the national grid.

A subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Wigton Windfarm Limited is the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. The company began operating in 2004 with the commissioning of a 20.7 megawatt generating plant, Wigton I. This was followed by the development of Wigton II in 2010, which generates 18 megawatts of energy.