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Renewable Energy Developments in Jamaica

The Ministry of Energy has through the National Energy Policy set a goal to achieve 10% renewable energy by the year 2010.  This goal is also to meet objectives which include ensuring stable and adequate energy supplies, diversifying the energy base and encouraging the development of indigenous energy resources.


A number of renewable initiatives and projects have been pursued by the Ministry in collaboration with a number of stakeholders, in order to achieve the goal set.  The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, an arm of the Ministry plays a very pivotal role in the development of renewable energy technologies in Jamaica.  The PCJ has overall responsibility for the Wigton Windfarm, the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy (CERE) and the Energy Efficiency Unit which monitor a number of renewable energy activities.  These activities include diversifying the energy types, increasing renewable energy in the energy mix and stimulating renewable energy investments.


Solar

The PCJ has undertaken a number of solar initiatives, which are listed below to promote renewable energy developments in Jamaica.

  • Secured funding through the PETROCARIBE for the development of the following projects.
  • Grid-Tie PV systems for Portmore communities
  • Stand alone PV systems for rural communities that are off the electrical grid
  • A solar PV and solar water heater manufacturing facility
  • Solar design and technologies capacity training
  • Solar PV systems for schools in Jamaica
  • Looking to collaborate with UTECH to develop solar cooling methods for slab roof dwellings in Portmore.
  • Seeking funding to conduct solar feasibility studies for the building of a solar farm facility.
  • Numerous incentives for solar energy use will be mandated such as net metering, zero tax and duty on solar equipment, government grants and other forms of grants or loans.
  • Looking to increased public interest in solar energy and solar technology through public promotions, seminars, displays, exhibitions and advertisements.


Wind

The Wigton Windfarm Limited, has been given the mandate to oversee all activities to increase and secure renewable energy through Wind Farm development.


On August 19, 2008, there was a launch for the expansion of the existing Wind Farm at Wigton.  Currently, the wind farm has the capacity to produce 20.7 MW of electricity.  With the expansion there will be 9 additional turbines with a capacity of 2MW each, hence a total expansion of 18 MW.



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