IFC and OPIC, with the additional support of the Government of Canada, will help BMR Jamaica Wind Ltd to build, operate and maintain a 36.3 MW wind farm which will be the largest renewable energy project developed by the private sector in Jamaica.
The wind farm will be located about 90 kilometres west of Kingston and will be supported by a $62.7 million financing package consisting of a $42.7 million senior loan from OPIC, a $10 million senior loan from IFC’s own account, and a $10 million loan from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Programme.
Jamaica has previously depended on outdated oil-fired electricity generation and this has led to high prices which in turn has acted as a burden on the economy. Jamaica’s National Energy Policy is now aimed at diversifying the country’s energy mix in order to reduce the country’s reliance on imported oil and support cleaner and more efficient energy production.
“The private sector, with support from long-term lending partners like OPIC, IFC and the government of Canada, is keen to develop Jamaica’s renewable energy potential” said Bruce levy, BMR’s Director. “With this initiative we plan to bring cleaner, cost competitive energy to the Jamaican electricity sector.”
Jun Zhang, IFC Senior Manager for the Caribbean, added that the project will help to demonstrate the viability of the renewable energy sector and open the door to future renewable energy projects by the private sector.
Caribbean islands generate most of their electricity from imported diesel or heavy fuel oil, requiring a hefty portion of their GDP to fund the fuel imports. These islands are also vulnerable to the environmental impacts associated with fossil fuels, such as air pollution, rising sea levels and coral bleaching.
The new wind farm will sell electricity to the Jamaica Public Service Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement and is expected to become operational in the first half of 2016.