Sofos completes first major PV project in Jamaica

The Caribbean island of Jamaica was boosted last week with the official opening of a 1.6 MW PV rooftop array installed by local solar power company, Sofos Jamaica.

The array, installed on the roof of the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel in Lucea, has become the largest single solar installation on the island, and uses 6,336 modules designed for self consumption on site. Excess energy will be fed to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) utility as part of an ongoing power purchase agreement (PPA).

Once fully operational, the array will save more than US$730,000 per year in energy bills, and throughout its 30-year lifespan is forecast to save the hotel an estimated $21 million. The initial outlay, an estimated $3.4 million, will be recouped within five years, Sofos Jamaica said.

"We are pleased to be pioneers in the industry as the first hotel in Jamaica to embark on such an investment," said the Grand Palladium’s general manager, Jose Morgan.

The CEO of Sofos Jamaica, Juan Mayoral, added that the project was the company’s first major undertaking in Jamaica, but revealed that they are already in talks with a local golf club over the possibility of adding another MW-scale array to the island.

The solar company partners with Germany’s solar manufacturer IBC Solar, who supplied the 250 MWp modules for the project.

Last year, Jamaican energy minister Phillip Paulwell called for an increase in the use of renewable energy on the island, saying the country’s renewable energy plan would target the remaining 4% of rural households yet to receive electricity in order to bring electrification island-wide to 100% of its residents.