Jamaicans could be on track to benefit following the successful completion of the most recent electricity-generation procurement process managed by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
The process saw the selection of Eight Rivers Energy Company Limited (EREC) as the preferred bidder to build, own and operate a 33.1 MW solar photovoltaic power-generation facility at Paradise Park, Westmoreland. The proposed price (all-in tariff) is 8.54 US cents/kWh.
This latest OUR-managed project is the most competitive renewable energy procurement project to date and is in keeping with the trend in the reduction in the price of energy from renewable sources. This bid is significantly cheaper than the tariffs proposed for the projects which were selected from a similar competitive procurement commenced in 2012 and based on wind turbine and solar technologies. The 37MW project has so far met all its deadlines, with the evaluations being completed by the OUR on April 26, 2016 and the highest-ranked bidders being notified of the evaluation results on May 6, 2016.
“The OUR is pleased with the proposed all-in tariff of 8.54 US cents/kWh, which we believe has set the pricing bar for future renewable projects,” said Albert Gordon, director general of the OUR.
Commenting on the project, Minister of Science Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley noted that the project executed by the OUR “marks the lowest cost ever for solar power in Jamaica, and also advances Government’s major policy objective, namely, the diversification of Jamaica’s energy supply mix to reduce cost and dependence on imported oil”.The next step in the project requires EREC to finalise the various project agreements. If they fail in this regard, the OUR would move to the bidder(s) next in line.