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Gov’t in early talks with potential solar investor – PCJ

Published: Thursday February 9, 2012 | 4:25 pm Comments 0

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) said the Jamaican government has engaged only in preliminary discussions with the Canadian-based Solamon Energy Corporation which said it has plans to invest US$444.2 million to establish a solar power plant in the island.

Furthermore, such a project and or investment in the renewable energy sector of the magnitude mentioned by Solamon Energy for commercial distribution would need the approval of the Office of Utilities Regulation and the Jamaica Public Service Company, the PCJ said in a statement.

The PCJ was reacting to an article out of Canada by the Caribbean Media Corporation and published in The Gleaner on January 26 which reported Solamon Energy as saying that it had plans to build the largest Caribbean solar power plant in Jamaica.

Solamon’s senior vice-president Ainsley Brown said that several parishes were being considered as future homes of one of three 50-acre plots that, when conjoined, would provide the Jamaican people with 60 megawatts of clean electricity.

The PCJ said all principal stakeholders, and specifically the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and the Corporation itself “welcome investments in this area of energy generation, which can assist in achieving the goals and targets of Jamaica’s national energy policy 2009-2030, and specifically, the contribution of renewable energy to Jamaica’s energy needs of 11 per cent by 2012, 12.5 per cent by 2015 and 20 per cent by 2030.”

In addition, it said the proposed investment could have beneficial effects for the Jamaican economy and the environment as it has the potential to create training and employment opportunities, reduce foreign exchange spend, stimulate economic activity and assist in combating climate change.

“Please note however, that the Government of Jamaica through the MSTEM (Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining) and the PCJ has engaged only in preliminary discussions with Solamon Energy Corporation on this matter.

Further details will be made available to the media and other stakeholders as soon as they are available,” the statement said.

“It is instructive to note as well, that any project and or investment in the renewable energy sector of this magnitude for commercial distribution would need the approval of the Office of Utilities Regulation and the Jamaica Public Service Company,” it added.

business@gleanerjm.com

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