Sun | Nov 19, 2017

More renewable energy for the national grid

Published:Thursday | June 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE JAMAICA Public Service (JPS) will later this year begin to buy 36 megawatts (MW) of wind energy from new Independent Power Producers (IPPs) BMR Jamaica Wind, and 20 MW of solar energy from WRB Solar.

At the same time, the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for electricity generation by JPS in another few weeks will support the addition of more renewables to the grid, as Jamaica moves toward greater energy security.

"JPS is converting the Bogue Power Station in Montego Bay to use gas by August 2016, and will also be building a new 190MW gas-fired plant in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2018," the utility company said.

In addition to delivering cleaner energy, natural gas will allow for the more efficient integration of renewable energy to the grid.

 

GAS UNITS MORE FLEXIBLE

 

The gas-fired generating units are much more flexible than the large units now in operation, and are able to respond more quickly to changes in weather conditions. For example, if cloud cover should cause the grid to lose the energy being provided by solar facilities, the gas-fired units will ramp up quickly, preventing outages to customers.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's electricity supply was recently boosted by the addition of 24 MW of wind energy, with the recent commissioning of the Wigton Wind Farm.

This brings to 62MW the total wind energy being provided by Wigton to the grid.

For its part, JPS has invested in renewables for more than 70 years.

JPS has invested in both hydro and wind energy. The company has nine hydro plants and one wind farm, contributing almost 32MW in total to the grid.

JPS's first hydroelectric unit was commissioned at Upper White River, St Ann, in 1943, and the newest hydro unit was commissioned in 2014 at Maggotty, St Elizabeth.