Deadline extended for investor interest in 100MW renewable energy project
Jamaica’s Generation Procurement Entity (GPE), the entity responsible for leading the charge to get investments in power generation, has extended the timeline for companies to submit bids to supply 100 megawatt (MW) of electricity generation from renewable energy sources.
On May 30, 2023, the GPE issued a request for proposal to independent power producers (IPPs) to supply up to 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation from renewable energy-based power generation facilities on a build, own and operate (BOO) basis through a “take-as-available” 20-year power purchase agreement.
The deadline for submission was scheduled for February 1, 2024.
However, an amended request dated December 22, 2023 has changed the window for submission to March 25 through April 1.
Speaking to the Jamaica Observer about the extension, energy advisor in the Ministry of Transport, Energy, Science and Technology Wayne Chen noted, “For a procurement of this magnitude, we want to ensure that all the details have been addressed, both from the State’s side as the procurer and of the potential bidders. And so, the extension was done because it was generally agreed that the bidders wanted more time to properly assess and make proper submissions and the State wanted to make sure that the difference advice that we’ve gotten was sound in terms of the approach, bearing in mind that this is the largest single procurement of renewables this country has ever done.”
So far, over 60 local and foreign bidders, with some being joint ventures, have expressed interest.
“I can’t say whether they are formally submittedâ€¦Financial and technical capacity become critical. So some of them are joint because even some of the foreign entities are working with local consultants and partners,” Chen pointed out.
According to the RFP, “JPS (Jamaica Public Service) may submit bids in response to this RFP in competition with other bidders. Any such bids will be evaluated on an arm’s-length basis to all other bids in accordance with the criteria set out in this RFP.”
While the GPE has invited bidders to supply a mixture of renewable energy-generation types, Chen pointed out that the bids will be assessed based on the need “because wind works in some areas and solar works better in others”.
“People may even be proposing batteries as an energy source because as you know the process is agnostic, meaning one [energy source] is not favoured over the other, but is based on several factors such as cost, sustainability, appropriateness, that sort of thing,” he stated further.
He outlined, in addition, that considering the “great national importance” of this bidding process and given the large quantities of electricity generating capacity anticipated, both a duty of care and diligence must be exercised to avoid mistakes made in the past. Chen highlighted that previous Administrations had been ill-advised by multilateral agencies which eventually acknowledged their errors.
Notwithstanding, the GPE is consulting with the Inter-American Development Bank among other multilateral development agencies during the bidding process.
At present, there are nine IPPs supplying the JPS grid: Wigton Wind Farm (62.7MW), Content Solar (20MW), BMR Energy (36.3 MW), Eight Rivers Energy Company Limited Paradise Solar PV Park (37MW), New Fortress Energy (94MW), South Jamaica Power Limited (194MW), Jamaica Energy Partners subsidiaries West Kingston Power Partners (65.5 MW), Jamaica Private Power Company (61 MW), and Doctor Bird Power Station (124 MW).