Noting that island nations are “very vulnerable to oil price movements and energy shocks,” Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for his country to aim for a higher share of renewables.
“The current policy is that 30 percent of electricity should be generated by renewables by 2030. I believe we can do better, so I have directed the government to increase our target from 30 percent to 50 percent,” he said.
Pursuing this path “takes leadership,” he said, adding, “It takes the leaders of the country to bring this awareness to their people, and now we are moving to ensure that renewables play an even greater part in our energy mix.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Holness said Jamaica generates 18% of its electricity from renewables. That compares favorably with a goal set in 2009 to achieve 20% by 2030.
The Prime Minister made his comments in a video released by the California-based nonprofit Solar Head of State, timed to coincide with a solar panel installation that the group orchestrated on the roof of the Office of the Prime Minister.
In neighboring Puerto Rico, industry groups and city mayors just made a similar call for 50% renewable generation by 2035, and 100% by 2050.
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I lived in Jamaica and have a very good grasp of the situation on the ground here. Tis article contains two instances of double counting, that is mentioning the same project twice with different sizes and different owners. Neoen was contracted by by Eight Rivers to build the Paradise Park project which has been listed as 37 MW by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR). Similarly Spain’s Global Energy Services (GES) was contracted by Florida-based WRB Energy to build the Content Solar Farm in Clarendon which is listed by the OUR as 20 MW and celebrated it’s second anniversary of production earlier this year. (see https://www.thedailyherald.sx/regional/81482-jamaica-s-1st-utility-scale-solar-plant-celebrates-two-years-of-operations)
I have used on-line, map based tools to do a estimate of the power output of the Content Solar Farm and the size of the arrays suggests a capacity in excess of 20 MW but sources inside the grid operator tell me the plant has a power delivery curve that is consistent with a 20 MW plant. The cost of the content solar project also suggests a higher capacity than 20 MW. I suspect that what is happening with these plants is that, in the time between the biding for the project with the OUR and construction, costs fall enough for the developers to use the amount of funds secured after the bid was successful to be able to install a higher capacity than that tendered for at the time of construction. I cannot explain the inconsistencies in stated project sizes by the different parties any other way.
There were several companies that played pivotal roles working with Solar Head of State. Envisage Energy is the Jamaican solar integrator and constructor. The US company, Solar Island Energy (SIE), was the Engineer-of-Record and Construction Manager. SIE’s web site is http://www.SolarIsland.Energy or http://www.Azimuth.Energy. SIE also donated these services and served this role for the Solar Head of State project in St Lucia.
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