Jamaica invites bids for 100MW renewables

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Paradise Solar PV Park is one of the solar projects operated by an independent power producer. Image: Neoen

The Jamaican government has announced a tender to procure renewables of up to 100MW.

According to the tender document, successful bidders can build new power plants, or expand or repower existing plants. Bidders can submit their proposals for one or more plants with capacities ranging from 5MW to 50MW.

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Technologies accepted by the Jamaican government include wind, solar or hydro, with either standalone projects or combinations the technologies permitted. The projects can be developed with or without storage. Additionally, the different generating units comprising a hybrid project do not need to be developed at the same site, but they must have a single interconnection point.

Projects with storage will not have their net capacity increased as the total capacity of a power plant will be determined based without storage. No commitment or payment regarding firmness will be made, and no incentives of any kind will be recognised for storage installations.

Moreover, projects with storage will compete with those without storage under the same conditions, and the energy delivered from batteries will be paid at the same price as the rest of the energy supplied by the project.

Solar projects must be commercially operational within 24 months from the execution date. Other technologies allow for a longer period as they must be commercially operational within 30 months from the execution date.

A 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) will be formed between the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) — which owns the transmission and distribution grid in Jamaica — and each successful bidder, governing the supply and purchase of power from the generation facility to be delivered to Jamaica’s grid.

The bid submission period will be from 25 January 2024 to 1 February 2024.

Jamaica announced a goal of achieving 50% renewables in its energy grid by 2030. Currently, renewables only contribute 12% to the energy mix, which can be further divided into wind power at 6%, solar power at 3%, and hydropower at 3%.

JPS procures electricity from nine independent power producers (IPP). IPPs in Jamaica only have the right to generate energy for sale to JPS. WRB Enterprises’ Content Solar (20MW) and the Eight Rivers Energy Company’s Paradise Solar PV Park (37MW) are some of the IPPs supplying power through solar PV.

In 2021, Jamaica looked to procure 320MW of renewables as part of plans to diversify its energy sector too.

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