JPS ready to welcome more renewable electricity providers

JPS ready to welcome more renewable electricity providers

Observer writer

Saturday, October 05, 2019

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PARADISE, Westmoreland – CEO of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Emmanuel DaRosa says his company stands ready to welcome more independent renewable electricity providers to the national grid, as a means of assisting in fulfilling the national objectives of energy security, sustainability, and affordability.

The JPS CEO was speaking at the official inauguration of the Paradise Park Solar Farm in Westmoreland, Wednesday.

The US$65-million project is the largest solar plant in the English-speaking Caribbean and the second utility-scale solar farm in the island, built through the partnership of Neoen, with a 50.01 per cent stake, MPC Caribbean Clean Energy with 34.39 per cent stake, and Rekamniar with 15.59 per cent stake – who came together to form Eight Rivers Energy Company (EREC).

The 156,000-panel plant is designed to supply 37 megawatts of electricity, however, an annual average of 82 gigawatt per hour of electricity will be produced. This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 78,000 people or the consumption needs of the parish of Hanover.

“As we move forward into a more diversified energy future, JPS stands ready to welcome more partners like Eight Rivers Energy Company as collectively we seek to fulfil the national objectives of energy security, affordability, and sustainability,” DaRosa said.

“We at JPS believe that the future of energy in Jamaica will be fuelled by partnerships, like the one that exists between JPS and the Eight Rivers Energy Company, also known as EREC. No single company is expected to supply all of Jamaica's energy needs; that's why JPS has partnered with several independent power producers who sell electricity to us for the distribution to our customers,” argued DaRosa.

The 20-year power purchase agreement with Eight Rivers Every Company for the purchase of renewable energy, said the JPS boss, means that more power from renewable energy will be available for distribution via the national grid.

In anticipation of the inauguration of Paradise Park Solar Farm, JPS undertook a number of upgrades to its critical sub-stations in order to ensure the safe, successful connection of the Paradise Park Solar Farm to the JPS transmission network.

This included modification to the Orange Bay/Paradise 69 kV transmission line to accommodate interconnection with the Paradise Park Solar Farm.

In addition to the ongoing operations of renewable capacity owned by JPS, the company is also taking steps to ensure the accommodation of additional renewables.

As a part of JPS broader strategy of accepting more renewables to the grid, the company has begun operation of its $2.7 billion 24.5 megawatt hybrid energy storage facility located at the company's Hunts Bay Power Plant substation in Kingston. Ground was broken for that facility in February of last year. The storage facility, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and one of the largest in the world, will act like a giant battery that charges when solar or wind-energy plants generate energy and release power via an inverter system during low periods of renewable power generation caused by long periods of overcast conditions and low wind speeds.

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