Alternative Energy Buzz


JAMPRO is being flooded with requests from international players in the alternative energy sector


The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is being flooded with requests from international players in the alternative energy sector who want to set up shop in Jamaica, or are looking for local entities to partner with here.


Berletta Forrester, sales and promotions manager for manufacturing, energy and mining at JAMPRO, received a reminder of the pull of Brand Jamaica during the recent North America Smart Energy Week, Solar Power International (SPI) trade show and expo in Salt Lake City, Utah.


“This expo has confirmed that Jamaica is in demand as a location for renewable energy investments,” Forrester told the Jamaica Observer at the end of the SPI trade show and expo.


“This was not new information for JAMPRO as we have always known this, based on the level of interest that we have been having from investors and potential investors in the sector. But coming to SPI really confirms it; because of all the people that I have engaged with, when they find out that I am from Jamaica, there is a great deal of interest being indicated,” she said.


“I also find that many of them are well-informed about Jamaica, they have done their homework and a lot of them are just basically standing by awaiting the completion of the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), and as soon as the minister issues those request for proposals they will be waiting to put their projects in,” added Forrester.


Prime Minister Andrew Holness last week announced that the long-anticipated IRP has been completed and is currently being reviewed by the Office of Utilities Regulation.


“The last information that I got was that the Integrated Resource Plan, which is the stocktaking of what we have and the road map to how to get to where we want to be, in terms of electricity resources, was completed,” said Holness.


“Once we know what that says, then we will be in a far better position to make firmer pronouncements on what the composition of our electricity should be,” stated Holness.

The IRP has been under consideration since 2015 and is aimed at addressing the planning needs of the electricity sector. It will also determine the amount of electricity that will be required, the placement of generation plants, and the cost to Jamaicans, among other things.


That pending completion of the IRP should be good news for Forrester who has had talks with several potential investors who want to know what alternative energy projects are available in Jamaica.


“I have met people who are investing in other parts of the world and I have met a few who have previously reached out to JAMPRO,” said Forrester as she recounted her time at the SPI expo.


“When I tell you that Jamaica is in demand, over the past year JAMPRO would have fielded upwards of 25 enquiries and leads from potential investors who want to come in. We have been providing them with information, we have been helping them with meetings, we have been helping them to make contacts and they have been waiting for the IRP so that they can put in their bids for renewable energy projects in Jamaica,” added Forrester.


She said JAMPRO will be providing updates to the potential investors as soon “as the minister flies the gate” with the release of the IRP.