Business

Operations start for Paradise Park solar farm

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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NEOEN, one of the world's leading renewable energy independent power producers and the majority shareholder in Paradise Park, a 51.5 megawatt park (MWp) photovoltaic (PV) farm based in Westmoreland, Jamaica, together with the solar park's co-shareholders, Rekamniar Frontier Ventures (Rekamniar) and MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund, this week announced the energisation and commencement of its operations at the plant.

The inauguration on October 2, 2019 took place in the presence of Prime Minister Andrew Holness. The construction and maintenance of the project was awarded to Eiffage Energía.

Neoen is also active in France, Australia, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Finland, Ireland, Zambia, and Portugal. In particular, Neoen operates Europe's most powerful solar PV farm (300 MWp) in Cestas, France, and the world's largest lithium-ion power reserve (100 MW/129 MWh storage capacity) in Hornsdale, Australia.

The organisation is targeting more than 5 gigawatts (GW) capacity in operation or under construction by 2021.

“The start of operations of the Paradise Park solar farm is an important achievement for Neoen and combines significant economic impact by producing the cheapest electricity on the island, with a strong social impact through the creation of more than 300 direct jobs during the construction period and the training of students of surrounding communities in partnership with the Clinton Foundation,” stated Xavier Barbaro, CEO of Neoen via a news release.

“The development and construction of Paradise Park illustrates Neoen's unique capabilities to bring together, in partnership with Jamaican local and international stakeholders, first-class lenders such as Proparco and FMO, donors such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and leading construction and equipment manufacturers,” he added. “We are proud to have delivered this flagship project and look forward to capitalising on this successful experience.”

Neoen, together with Rekamniar, won in a tender launched by the Jamaican Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

Paradise Park now delivers to Jamaica's national utility, the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, the cheapest electrical energy ever produced in Jamaica, according to the release — with a base tariff of US$85/MWh through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“The Paradise Park project exemplifies the possibility for Jamaica and other emerging market countries to achieve cost savings while enhancing sustainability and resilience in their economies through the adoption of renewables,” said Angella Rainford, managing director of Rekamniar Frontier Ventures.

Rekamniar is an emerging market energy developer and investor focused on the Latin America and Caribbean regions. Rekamniar also provides advisory services to project developers and clients investing in the power sector across sub-Saharan Africa. The company has recently launched a distributed generation strategy, Soleco Energy, focused on delivering solar and energy storage for commercial and industrial clients.

“Paradise Park is a key milestone for Jamaica and the wider Caricom region,” emphasised David Delaire, managing director of MPC Renewable Energies. “It represents the collaborative and cooperative efforts of private and public partnerships in order to transition Jamaica and the Caricom region to a clean and sustainable environment powered by renewable energy.”

MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Ltd is a Caribbean-based investment company which was established in 2017 to enable private and institutional investors from Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago to invest in one of the few investment funds which invests in renewable energy projects in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and the wider Caribbean region — the MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund LLC.

The clean energy investment specialist MPC Renewable Energies GmbH, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the publicly listed German asset and investment manager MPC Capital AG, has initiated the MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Ltd and MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund LLC based on its extensive renewable energy experience worldwide and after deep research and analysis of the Caribbean market.

“We at MPC Capital are so proud to deliver a high-quality investment that also represents our commitment to creating long-term and sustainable value with direct investments in renewable energy assets for our investors and stakeholders,” said Delaire. “Jamaicans can participate and benefit from this landmark solar park through the Jamaica Stock Exchange-listed MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Ltd.”

“In accordance with the mandate of the fund, we continue to evaluate additional investment opportunities in the renewables sector for both institutional and retail investors who wish to capitalise on opportunities in the growing market,” he revealed. “The region has the natural resources that are abundantly available and the right legislative and regulatory framework, administrative practices, and commitment to attract investors such as MPC Capital.”


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