Fri | Aug 18, 2017

OUR gets 10 bids for 37MW renewable project

Published:Friday | January 29, 2016 | 1:00 AMSteven Jackson
A bank of solar panels

Ten companies submitted bids to build and operate renewable energy plants that run on solar, wind, water or waste, but two are in danger of being disqualified for non-payment of the bid security.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) received the bids for supply of up to 37 megawatt of renewable power to the grid on Wednesday and will determine the preferred bidders by April.

The bids included a 24.7MW waste-to-energy plant at US$110 million, by Green Waste Energy Inc; a 37MW wind plant at US$61 million by Wigton WindFarm Limited; a 20MW solar plant, at US$33.15 million, by WRB Enterprise Inc and a separate bid to build a 37MW solar plant at US$72.15 million, which contains three options.

Great Valley bid US$50 million to develop a 26.4MW wind farm; Tamarind Energy proposed a 36.3MW at US$76.96 million; and BMR Jamaica bid US$18.27 million for a 9.9MW wind farm to expand the existing wind farm that it is developing in central Jamaica.

The other four bids were a 37MW solar project at US$48.7 million with an alternative option by Eight Rivers Energy Company Limited; a 2MW hydropower project, at US$8.9 million, by Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica; a 37MW solar plant at US$77.14 million by Jamaica Energy Partners; and a 30MW biothermal energy plant, at US$93.8 million by Bio Energy Resources Limited.

"We are happy with the process. It was done in an orderly and professional manner," said Angella Rainford of Eight Rivers Energy Company following the bid openings held at the OUR.

"The returns are attractive, but it's also the right fit for the country as it mitigates against the reliance on oil," said Rainford.

Eight Rivers took no chances and submitted a US$700,000 bid security.

Two of the 10 bidders - Green Waste Energy and Bio Energy Resources - did not put up the required security, OUR legal Chenee Rily disclosed at the bid opening.

Unfortunate

The OUR required each bidder to submit security equivalent to one per cent of the project cost.

"The only two bids with firm capacity failed to offer a bid security it's unfortunate," said Cecil Gordon, the director of generation at Jamaica Energy Partners, in discussion with the Financial Gleaner at the OUR event. "Waste-to-energy gives a constant output so it's firm capacity."

Gordon explained that wind solar and hydro can fluctuate depending on external factors, including weather. He also indicated that waste-to-energy projects are more expensive to operate - "which means a lower return," he added.

OUR said on Thursday that the decision on whether to disqualify the two waste-to-energy bids would be considered by the bid review committee when it convenes.

Last July, the OUR issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from local and international interests to supply up to 37MW of electricity generation from renewable energy resources on a build, own and operate basis. Wednesday was the deadline for the receipt of bid documents.

This latest project is to complete an RFP process started in 2012 to identify interested entities to submit proposals for the supply of one or more plants of varying configurations greater than 100kW and up to 115MW of renewable energy. At that time, 78MW was identified from three successful bidders.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com