Wisynco opens $200m solar plant

Wisynco opens $200m solar plant

BY JOSIMAR SCOTT Observer writer

Saturday, September 26, 2015

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AS a "key driver... to promote environmental sustainability and to have the most environmentally friendly operation", Wisynco Group last Thursday commissioned into operation a one-megawatt solar plant at its Lakes Pen headquarters in St Catherine.

"This investment will enable us to supplement the energy we get from the public supply to lower the cost of energy to the business. Early performance reports from the system already show that there is the potential to save up to US$1,000 per day," said William Mahfood, chairman of Wisynco Group Limited.

The solar plant was installed at a cost of $200 million by Padero Solar Jamaica Limited, a subsidiary of British-based company of the same name, and is comprised of two systems -- a 730-kilowatt ground mount on two acres of land, and a 271-kilowatt roof mount located atop the Wisynco distribution warehouse.

"What we have delivered for Wisynco is a reliable, high-quality Solar PV system performing eight per cent above client expectations reducing their daytime grid energy consumption," explained Benjamin Daley, managing director of Padero Solar Jamaica.

In an interview with Sunday Finance, Wisynco Group CEO Andrew Mahfood disclosed that, in addition to improving the manufacturing and distribution company's carbon footprint, the group should also "save electricity" by "150,000 kilowatt per month", thus reducing its use of the island's grid while maintaining production levels.

The CEO also explained that he expects that the solar plant, for which plans were proposed some 18 months ago, "will pay back for itself in six years". However, Mahfood pointed out, too, that prior to the slump in the global price of crude oil, recovering investments in the plant "would have been four and a half years".

In addition to the solar plant, the Wisyno Group has also invested US$6 million in warehouse space, US$2 million in a water-treatment plant, and US$1.75 million in a new office building.

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