WRB secures PPA for 20 MW PV project in Jamaica

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WRB Enterprises Inc has secured a solar supply contract with the Jamaican Public Service Company (JPS) grid for a 20 MW PV project scheduled for completion in 2015.

Construction on the project will begin within the next 60 days at the Clarendon site, with WRB subsidiary Content Solar overseeing the completion of the US$60 million plant.

Last week, WRB and two other energy providers – Wigton Windfarm Limited and BMR Jamaica Wind Limited – signed individual power purchase agreements (PPAs) with JPS for a combined amount of 78 MW of renewable power. WRB’s project, however, is the only solar PV installation pledged under this latest PPA.

Tendered by the Office of Utilities and signed last week, the contract stipulates that JPS will buy the plant’s solar energy for the next 20 years. Located at Content Village in the town of Clarendon on the island, the plant will boast 98,000 solar panels and lower energy costs by almost 50% for many Jamaican consumers.

"This is a fixed-price contract with no escalation," said WRB Enterprises Inc VP, Robert Blenker. "This means that for every year Content Solar operates, the energy it produces becomes relatively less expensive."

Currently, the average price of electricity in Jamaica stands at US$0.32/kWh, according to data published by the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET).

Not only will the PV plant lower electricity costs for consumers, but it will also cut the island’s reliance on fossil fuels by 8.5 million gallons a year – a saving of more than $170 million over the plant’s 20-year duration.

The solar plant is already the largest in the pipeline across the entire Caribbean.