KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday November 13, 2017 – Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica has the potential to produce up to 50 per cent of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources.
Speaking after a tour of BMR Jamaica Wind, he said the country “has to think carefully and strategically as to how it uses the alternatives that God has given us”.
“The renewable (energy source) that (is) here at BMR is wind. I certainly believe that there is great potential on this side of the island, between Manchester and St Elizabeth, for there to be an expansion in wind-generating plants,” he said.
Holness said the Government is currently developing an integrated resource plan that will project the country’s future energy requirements and how those needs can be supplied by using renewables – in particular, wind and solar.
He indicated that solar energy capacity is being expanded and “very soon another solar plant will be open, and we are also looking at waste energy. All of these are environmentally friendly solutions”.
The Prime Minister said he is very impressed with what BMR has been doing, noting that “the posture that has been taken in the development of this plant is one that integrates the community.”
“I was very pleased to see that farmers are allowed to continue farming, with, of course, an appropriate level of respect for the investment that has been made in the plant,” Holness noted.
“It shows that you can have this kind of investment and still integrate the community… to have the community act as protectors of the plant as well.
“I am also very happy to hear from BMR that the price of wind energy is going down and that its unit price is amazingly good. The technology is improving, and the cost of the equipment to generate (wind energy) is going down and it is making it more accessible,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BMR, Bruce Levy, informed that the plant, which has been in operation since July last year, comprises 11 state-of-the-art wind turbines, each producing 3.3 megawatts of power, for a total of 36 megawatts.
He added that the company supplies the lowest cost of renewable energy in Jamaica.