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Jamaican utility creates team to expedite renewable development

KINGSTON, Jamaica 3/14/12 (PennWell) -- The Jamaican Public Service Company Ltd. (JPS) has formed an internal team designed to fast-track the addition of more renewable energy to the electrical grid.

JPS says the creation of its Renewable Energy Integration Group (REIG) is meant to assist the Government of Jamaica in achieving its national energy policy goal, which says 20% of the country's power must come from renewable sources by 2030.

"We're fully committed to helping to get more large-scale renewable energy projects on the grid, because renewable energy is an important part of the fuel diversification strategy," JPS chairman Hisatsugu Hirai says.

JPS owns close to 40%, or 25 MW, of the renewable energy currently serving Jamaica's grid.

That number includes JPS' six hydroelectric plants already in service but not a new, US$26 million hydropower facility the company announced in December 2011 that will add 6.3 MW to the grid.

REIG will assist investors with technical data and other information to assist in decision making, JPS says. REIG will also assist in getting approvals from Jamaica's Office of Utilities Regulation -- including one that would allow customers with small renewable facilities up to 100 kW to sell their excess energy to the grid under a standard offer contract.


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