OST Energy NA (OST), a leading independent engineering consultancy, has been appointed as Owner’s Engineer (OE) by renewable energy developer, Eight Rivers Energy Company (EREC), for Jamaica’s largest solar power project to date. The 37MW scheme is being delivered by Neoen and its partners in the project, MPC, Ferrostaal and Rekamniar Frontier Ventures.
As the cost of solar equipment has continued to fall, the number of development opportunities in tariff-free emerging markets has steadily increased. With the cost of capital in Jamaica at a historic low, constructing clean energy projects is significantly cheaper than it has been in recent years – a trend which is expected to accelerate the rate at which new projects are brought to market.
To date, Jamaica has installed a number of small-scale solar projects, in line with its 25-year National Development Plan, which will see clean energy being brought online to wean the island nation off a reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.
One of the largest solar projects in the Caribbean, the EREC development in Westmoreland Parish will generate power at the lowest cost to date for a Jamaican solar project.
Over the course of the project, which is due for completion in December 2018, OST will provide Owner’s Engineering support, encompassing the three main phases of development, construction, and commissioning. The work will ensure that each stage is properly planned, executed and controlled on behalf of the project’s backers.
“The Caribbean markets, and Jamaica in particular, offer huge potential for clean energy development in the coming years,” said Daniel Farmer, Director of Americas, OST Energy. “With the capital costs of solar continuing to fall, opportunities for building multi-megawatt utility scale projects that deliver consistent returns, even without tariff support, are increasing.”
“Supporting Eight Rivers Energy Company as Owner’s Engineer will see us take a leading role in bringing Jamaica’s largest solar project to the market, ensuring that the lessons of clean energy development in the mature markets are being correctly transposed into new territories.”
Paolo Cartagena, International Development Manager, Neoen, commented: “Working with an experienced partner like OST will enable us to build a solar project that delivers a long-term, reliable and low cost clean energy supply to the local grid. OST’s global expertise will be invaluable in helping us realise our ambitions in the Jamaican market.”
OST Energy has an expanding global presence, employing a growing team of over 100 renewable energy experts spread across offices in the UK, Italy, France, South Africa, the USA, Australia and India. The firm has worked on over 1,000 renewable energy projects in more than 30 countries across the globe.