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Jamaica regulator approves expansion of 6-MW Maggotty

Jamaica's Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has approved a plan to expand the 6-MW Maggotty hydroelectric project by 6.3 MW, project operator Jamaica Public Service Co. (JPSC) announced November 17.

JPSC had submitted the project in response to a government request for renewable energy, including hydropower. (HNN 6/26/08) OUR also approved a JPSC proposal for a 3-MW wind farm. JPSC said the two projects were expected to cost a total of US$38.7 million.

The existing Maggotty project, built in 1959 at St. Elizabeth, currently accounts for nearly a third of JPSC's 21 MW of hydropower generation, supplied by a total of eight small plants.

JPSC said it plans to begin work on the project in January, as part of its strategy to reduce its dependence on oil for power generation.

The government has set a goal that 15 percent of Jamaica's energy come from renewables by 2020. Currently, 95 percent of the nation's grid electricity is fueled by imported petroleum.

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