Prime Minister Bruce Golding said that the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is engaged in bringing up renewable energy generation in Jamaica to 11% (eleven per cent) by next year and 20% (twenty per cent) by 2030. He said that over the next two years studies will be done at 20 potential wind energy sites, a solar farm and ten hydro (river) sites.
Mr. Golding was speaking at the commissioning of nine new wind turbine generators at the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester yesterday (March 2). The wind farm is a subsidiary of PCJ.
The Prime Minister said, “the PCJ will be doing over the next 18 months technical studies on 20 additional (wind energy) sites where we feel there is potential enough to harness enough wind to sustain turbines…We want to expand our renewable energy sources to eleven percent by 2012 next year. We are somewhere about 7 or 8 per cent now and we are working to see if we can get that up to 12.5 % by 2015 and up to 20% by 2030.”
Mr. Golding said that work had been done to assess three hydro power sites, the Rio Grande in Portland; Laughlands in St. Ann; and the Great River in Hanover. These studies are being packaged with technical data before being presented to potential investors. The solar study is being done to assess the feasibility of generating one mega watt of power at a site in Portmore.
The Wigton Windfarm increased its potential generating capacity to 38.7 mega watts of electricity from wind power. The expansion project was completed under budget at a cost of US$47.5 million and equipped the wind farm with nine additional wind turbine generators. The project also included the construction of a resource building that can facilitate educational visits by schoolchildren and university students.
Danish renewable engineering company Vestus built and installed the wind turbines. The entire facility is on non-bauxite lands owned by ALPART and Jamalco. Wigton Windfarm started generating electricity in 2004.
Issued by: The Office of the Prime Minister