BMR ENERGY’S JAMAICA WIND PROJECT

Delivering Wind Energy to Jamaica

Context

Costly, imported fossil fuels are used to meet 90% of Jamaica’s energy needs.

Jamaica has set an ambitious target to generate 30% of its energy from local renewable sources, such as hydro, wind and solar power by 2030.

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36 megawatts of power

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11 Vestas V112 3.3 MW
turbines installed

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90 kilometers west of
Kingston, Jamaica

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Commenced operation
July 1, 2016

BMR Energy developed, owns and operates the largest private-sector renewable energy project in Jamaica. The wind farm was honored with a 2016 Impact Award from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Impact

  • The electricity produced is among the least expensive available in Jamaica.
  • Generates about 130,000 megawatt hours of energy per year—the equivalent of 3% of Jamaica’s energy demand.
  • Supplies energy for 25,000 customers throughout Jamaica Public Service Company.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 66,000 tons CO2 equivalent per year — the equivalent of taking 13,000 cars off the road each year.
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Process

The Jamaica wind farm became a reality through extensive research, cooperative funding and persistent execution. In response to a request for proposals in late 2012, the BMR team identified optimal sites and technology for the best yield within local conditions and regulations. The resulting proposal was the lowest-cost alternative among 28 other competitors, offering power at nearly 50% of utility cost.

BMR developed all the required contracts, environmental permits and a financing package from multiple lenders to construct the project starting in 2015. Beyond its own investments, BMR secured funding from OPIC, the International Financing Corporation and the Government of Canada. The owner of BMR Energy, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, cut the ribbon on the fully operational project in July 2016. The current long-term power purchasing agreement with Jamaica Public Service Company will provide residents with affordable power for 20 years.

Beyond the Project

Throughout development, BMR Energy leveraged its resources to be good neighbors and provide additional support to surrounding communities.

  • Creating local employment: Members of surrounding parishes contributed about 90% of labor hours for construction of the project. The project is currently 100% operated by local Jamaican staff.
  • Building community infrastructure: Remodeled dirt roads with pavement and drainage. Renovated a local elementary school to add glass windows.
  • Supporting local community: Donated a police vehicle to the local constabulary. Upgrading a local residential facility for the developmentally disabled.

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