Energy Minister hails Rainforest Seafoods' solar energy project
ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Energy, Science, and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley has welcomed the installation of a 300-kilowatt solar energy generating system at Rainforest Seafoods Limited’s Freeport, St James location.
“Today is indeed a good day for Rainforest, the private sector, and for Jamaica’s energy sector overall,” Wheatley said, while addressing the commissioning ceremony on Thursday.
“I am heartened that this company has embraced the vision of energy diversification with a view towards increasing efficiencies …and the need for cheaper, cleaner, energy solutions,” he added.
Wheatley said that the Government will continue to encourage companies to increase the use of renewable energy systems and technologies in order to cut down on production costs and help to reduce oil imports.
The commissioning of the system at Freeport follows the installation of a 500-kilowatt solar facility at Rainforest Seafoods’ Kingston location last year, bringing total investment in renewable energy by the company to US$1.3 million.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rainforest Seafoods Limited, Brian Jardim, said the installation of the solar energy generating systems “is money well spent.”
“We are looking at probably a seven-year pay back,” he informed.
He said the systems are expected to result in greater efficiencies and savings, and increase the company’s production capacity in order to better supply its markets in Jamaica and overseas.
Jardim also mentioned plans to expand operations through construction of an additional plant in Montego Bay later this year at a cost of US$10 million, providing 200 new jobs.
This new plant, Jardim said, will also be fully outfitted with solar energy generating facilities.