This year Jamaica will take a major step towards adding a significant amount of capacity to its power generation mix.

The Jamaican Minister for Science, Energy and Technology recently told the country’s legislature that the government shall allocate 150 MW of renewable energy capacity this year. The minister did not give a technology-wise breakup of the entire capacity but did mention that 50 MW capacity will be based on waste-to-energy technology. Request for proposals for setting up these projects will be issued by the government in due course of time.

The minister also briefed the legislature about some of the renewable energy project currently being developed.

Earlier this year, Eight Rivers Energy was selected to develop a 33 MW solar PV project with tariff of   US8.5/kWh. The government is looking to finalise the license for the project and sign power purchase agreement. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2016/17 while the project is expected to start supply electricity from 2018.

A 20 MW solar PV project is also under development at Clarendon. The project secured $47 million in debt financing under the US Government’s Caribbean Energy Security Initiative. The project is owned by Content Solar, and Florida-based WRB Enterprises is currently developing the project.

With a 36 MW wind energy project also being developed, a total of 113 MW renewable energy capacity is either commissioned or under development in Jamaica.

According to the Jamaica National Energy Policy 2009-2030, the country is looking to significantly increase investments in renewable energy technologies. The country has targeted at least 20% contribution towards the energy mix from renewable energy sources by 2030.

As part of the policy, the government plans to offer several incentives to the renewable energy sector. The long-term policy includes specific incentives for wind, solar, co-generation, biomass, and biofuels sector. The government also plans to take several measures to boost energy efficiency and conservation in the building, residential, and commercial sectors.

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