The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP
Tour of BMR Wind Limited Project
Potsdam, St Elizabeth
November 8, 2017
When Bruce started, he just by nature ignores the protocols and that is not a bad thing. We stand on ceremony too much in Jamaica but I have Minister Floyd Green here, he would be very upset if I did not recognise him. He is the Member of Parliament for an adjoining constituency and Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
I have the Member of Parliament for this constituency here, Mr Frank Witter and he certainly would be upset if I did not mention his name.
No questions that His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Derrick Sangster; Mayor of Black River, would not talk to me if I did not mention his name.
I have of course Councillors Simpson and Holness here as well and they would ignore me when I come to St Elizabeth.
Of course, my very good friend who – I am so welcomed when I come to St Elizabeth – he opens up his home for me, former mayor Councillor Jeremy Palmer; I would not have a place to stay in St Elizabeth.
And of course our newest Councillor would be totally upset with me, Albert- everybody knows him as “Powder”.
Of course, our newest member of the St Elizabeth family, Mr Bruce Levy, President of BMR Jamaica Wind Limited, and other members of staff of BMR Jamaica Wind Limited.
Heads of Agencies who are here;
Members of the private sector;
Members of the community;
Members of the media;
Members of the security forces who are here with us today;
Ladies and gentlemen – I’m certain that I’ve covered everyone.
They say that word is wind in Jamaica meaning to say that wind has no power but that is not true. Wind is power and what we’re doing here is converting wind to energy.
Jamaica is in a region where we do not have the energy resource that other countries have. We don’t have oil, we don’t have natural gas or at least we have not discovered them as yet. When God positioned Jamaica as it is, so well positioned, central to the entire Caribbean region, he must have placed us on some deposit so we will wait patiently until we discover them, but where we are in the region we certainly have not yet discovered any major supply of oil or natural gas. On the rim of the basin, other countries have discovered. Trinidad certainly for a long time now has had proven reserves of oil and Venezuela has proven reserves, Colombia has, coming around we’re seeing now Guyana and Suriname have reserves. In fact Guyana has discovered significant reserves of oil but the fact that we don’t have these reserves doesn’t mean that we don’t have alternatives and we have to now start to think very carefully, very strategically as to how we use the alternatives that God has given us; wind and solar.
It is possible for Jamaica to go to approximately 50% of its energy needs provided by alternatives and the alternatives are renewables but there are also other forms. The renewables that we are here looking at today at BMR Jamaica Wind Limited is wind and I certainly believe that there is great potential in this side of the island between Manchester and St Elizabeth for there to be an expansion in wind generating plants and what BMR has done with this significant investment shows that they also believe that there can be greater investment in wind energy in Jamaica.
The government of Jamaica is doing an integrated resource plan which will project what our future needs will be and how we can supply those future needs integrating renewables, in particular wind and solar.
I’m very happy to hear that the price of wind energy is going down and indeed I want to reiterate what Bruce has said that you’re now giving almost- so 10.4 is an amazingly good price and you’re saying you could go to 8. What has clearly happened over the last ten years is that the price is coming down, the technology is improving and the cost of the equipment to generate is going down and it is making it more accessible.
Of course, the problem with renewables is the intermittency of the supply; even that can be overcome as battery technology increases and improves, and so I hold a very optimistic view of the future of energy supply in Jamaica that much more of our energy supply will be by renewables. We are now looking at expansion in solar. Very soon, another solar plant will be open, we are also looking at waste energy as a solution, and all of these are environmentally friendly solutions.
I want to endorse what BMR is doing here. We would love to see BMR make more investment and expand the plant here and what I particularly like is that the posture that has been taken in the development of this plant is one that integrates the community.
I was very pleased to see that farmers are allowed to continue farming, with of course an appropriate level of respect for the investment that has been made in the plant, but it shows that you can have these kinds of investment and still integrate the community to have the community act as protectors of the plant as well.
So overall, I am very pleased and I wish to endorse what is happening here; endorse the company BMR, and hope that you will find it possible to make even more investments in Jamaica in the renewable energy field.