Tue | Oct 20, 2020

OUR to retender for 37MW of renewable capacity

Published:Friday | October 4, 2013 | 12:00 AM

The first round of qualified bids to supply 115 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources fell short by one-third.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) said on Wednesday that it will be returning to the market with a request for bids to supply the outstanding 37 megawatts of 'firm capacity'.

"We are not clear on the time line," said Elizabeth Bennett, public education specialist at the OUR, on when that process would start.

Noting that this was a part of the Government's 2030 vision, she said: "We have a little time."

The original OUR request for proposal had invited bids for both 'firm capacity' energy of 37 megawatts and 'energy only' or 'non-firm capacity' of 78 megawatts. Preferred bidders were announced by the OUR on Tuesday for the 78 megawatts, but the 'firm capacity' remains open.

Firm capacity - an example of which is biomass - refers to energy which does not come from variable sources, such as wind or solar, that could be affected by unexpected weather or seasonal conditions.

At the time of receiving the bids on June 3, there was only one company with a bid for 'firm capacity' in the form of biomass, as against 25 for solar energy and two for wind farms.

"So we knew that we didn't have enough for firm capacity," Bennett said.

The project for 115 megawatts of renewable-energy capacity is a part of the Government's policy of generating 12.5 per cent of Jamaica's electrical supplies from renewable-energy sources by 2015.

The preferred bids for 'non-firm capacity' were: Blue Mountain Renewables LLC - 34 MW from wind power; Wigton Windfarm Limited - 24 MW from wind power; and WRB Enterprises Inc - 20 MW from solar photovoltaics.