Jamaica explores hydro project potential at five sites

Jamaica’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) is teaming up with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) to study the feasibility of hydroelectric projects at five potential generating sites.

The US$1 million study is being conducted as part of the country’s Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project, which is being funded in large part by a 2011 loan agreement with the World Bank.

As per the agreement, the World Bank has agreed to provide $15 million to finance initiatives associated with improving Jamaica’s energy efficiency and security.

“As we look to the greater use of hydro power in Jamaica‘s energy mix, we believe that this project is quite important and it will provide us with some of the critical data that will encourage our private sector players to look more closely at the opportunities that exist within hydropower,” Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell said.

Selected for analysis are sites on the Rio Cobre River in St. Catherine, Morgan’s River and Negro River in St. Thomas, Spanish River in Portland and Martha Brae River in Trelawny.

The studies will begin soon and are being conducted by Italian consulting engineering firm SP Studio Pietrangeli.

HydroWorld.com reported in March 2012 that the Jamaican government had set a goal of obtaining 20% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2030.

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