Business

JPS buys more solar, wind

Wednesday, June 04, 2014    

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WINDSTREAM Technologies, a US-based renewable energy start-up secured US$8.1 million in additional wind-solar turbines orders from Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

The supply arrangement follows on over US$14 million in orders from JPS in the first quarter of this year alone.

"WindStream Technologies and Jamaica's national utility company, JPS, have expanded their relationship with the execution of a new US$8.1 million purchase order to coincide with the purchase order for $14.5 million signed earlier this year," according to a company statement on the matter.

The compact wind turbines are seen on rooftops including the headquarters of JPS in New Kingston. JPS sells these turbines and associated products to customers through their e-Stores.

Windstream added that the new purchase order will "greatly" enhance the suite of products offered under the original agreement to include energy storage, back-up emergency power and custom energy monitoring, data collection and system analysis.

"This new agreement once again proves that JPS is a true thought leader in the Utility Power industry by enhancing the offerings available to their customers way beyond traditional generation," said Travis Campbell, chief operating officer of WindStream Technologies. "JPS is not only providing renewable energy products, but looking for ways to provide long-term value to its customers."

JPS last year received the Windstream distribution rights for Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, Grand Cayman and Dominica.

WindStream began selling its products to the world last June.

Its main products are the TurboMill, a wind-powered generator and SolarMill, a hybrid wind and solar device.

JPS previously told the Observer that it would sell the hybrid solarMill systems, stand-alone and grid-tied inverters, batteries and battery housing, as well as solar panels.

"All along, the goal of JPS was to provide a turnkey solution to our customers which would allow them to install a renewable energy platform that would provide clean renewable energy, save money and in the case of emergency, allow for their short-term electrical needs," said Garth McKenzie, director of sales and marketing at Windstream, which will distribute the new products this month.

Windstream previously stated that it aims to sell US$120 million ($13 billion) worth of wind-solar turbines in Jamaica within four years. The new contract pulls that target closer with orders now totalling US$22 million from JPS.

The wind turbines ameliorate local consumer energy costs which are nearly four times that of the average rate in the US, Windstream indicated in a previous release.

The wind and solar mills are scaleable, offering low cost per watt usage.

The energy potential of each unit goes up to 230 kilowatt hours per year at average windspeeds of five metres per second (roughly 11 miles per hour).

Last November, JPS secured US$30 million in loans with a possible option for an additional US$15 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the lending arm of the World Bank.

The financing would support the capital needs of JPS and reduce its fuel oil dependence using renewables.

JPS is owned by Japan-based Marubeni Corporation at 40 per cent; South-Korea-based Korea East-West Power at 40 per cent; the Government of Jamaica at 19.9 per cent; and some 3,000 shareholders holding the remaining 0.1 per cent of the shares.

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