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Wind turbines added to Jamaica Public Service Company’s fuel source

Executives of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) and energy minister, James Robert-son, on Wednesday commissioned four wind turbines into service at the Munro Wind Farm in St Elizabeth.

The Munro Wind Farm is the second renewable-energy power plant to be undertaken by JPSCo over the last nine months.

The first was the Constant Spring Hydroelectric Power Station, which was completed at a cost of $800 million and was done within budget and on schedule. It will add three megawatts of power to the national grid.

JPSCo said the move would help to reduce its dependency on fuel, which it has to import at hefty costs.

JPSCo’s head of corporate communications, Winsome Callum said: “We will be able to save on foreign exchange, as the more renewable energy we add to the national grid, it means we will spend less to purchase oil.”

Asked how customers would benefit from the implementation of renewable energy, Callum explained that the JPSCo passes on its fuel cost to customers monthly bills, so, in effect, this would be gradually reduced, admitting that customers would not start seeing benefits immediately.

Serious commitment

Meanwhile, president and CEO of JPSCo, Damian Obiglio, said the Munro Wind Farm represents a new JPSCo. He said construction has already started on the Maggotty hydroelectric power plant.

“We have made a serious commitment to find ways to improve service and reduce the cost of electricity and that is a fact. Over the last few years, we have been focusing on improving our efficiencies in every aspect of our operations, including the reduction of our consumption of oil, and the losses incurred from electricity theft,” he said.

Obiglio noted that JPSCo’s national generating capacity to use renewable energy is part of its overall strategy to improve efficiency and to reduce the cost of electricity. “We hope to stay in Jamaica for another 100 years,” the CEO said.

Meanwhile, energy minister James Robertson said he was confident that the renewable-energy sector would grow, adding that the sector has a massive future in Jamaica. “My commitment towards a greener Jamaica will never waiver,” he said.

Robertson also stated that the Government
was looking at recommencing operations at the Kirkvine Bauxite Company by the first quarter of next year.

“That is our desire and that is what we are working towards.”

He said the Government also intends to restart the Alpart Bauxite plant, but did not give a definitive timeline.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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