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The construction of the PV plant at Paradise Park is set to begin in July. Once completed the 33.1MW facility will become the largest solar plant in the country, beating out the 20MW solar farm in Clarendon. Source: Flickr - ArabCrunch

The construction of the PV plant at Paradise Park is set to begin in July. Once completed the 33.1MW facility will become the largest solar plant in the country, beating out the 20MW solar farm in Clarendon. Source: Flickr - ArabCrunch

The Jamaican Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has announced the winner of its most recent renewable energy procurement project. The preferred selected bidder, Eight Rivers Energy Company (EREC), is to construct, own and operate a 33.1MW solar PV plant at Paradise Park in Westmoreland, at a proposed lowest electricity price of 8.54 US cents/kWh.

According to OUR, the bid is significantly cheaper than tariffs proposed for the projects which were selected from a similar procurement framework for wind and solar back in 2012, after the Jamaica Energy Council demanded a call to action over the cost of importing electricity.

EREC is an international independent power producer formed out of a partnership between UK-based alternative energy experts Rekamniar Frontier Ventures and French renewables group Neoen. It EREC emerged as the preferred bid out of 19 project proposals received by the regulator, under the competitive procurement process. OUR had sought to procure up to 37MW from the bids. 

The OUR reported stated that it received 19 bids overall, totalling nearly 500MW – 11 of which were base proposals and eight were alternative proposals from entities vying for the opportunity to initiate electricity generation projects from clean resources.

EREC has designs to start operating what will be Jamaica’s largest solar energy plant within a year. The company has stated that it has already paid in excess of the 1% deposit on its bid submission in January, and will shortly be meeting with its backing joint partner. Neoen will also secure financing from the French government to fund the project.

Minister of Science Energy and Technology (MSET) Andrew Wheatley noted that the project being carried out by the OUR “marks the lowest cost ever for solar power in Jamaica.”

The construction of the PV plant at Paradise Park is set to begin in July. Once completed the 33.1MW facility will become the largest solar plant in the country, beating out the 20MW solar farm in Clarendon, owned by Content Solar and developed by WRB Enterprises. 

Significant renwable projects such as this have been seen intermittently within the country throughout the last four years. Clean incentives were first rooted in the government's 2012 energy diversification strategy and efforts to achieve the targets set out in the 2009 National Energy Plan (NEP) for the increased participation of renewables in the country’s electricity supply mix.

Tags: jamaica, solar farm, tender process, projects

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