June 2012

A hybrid renewable energy system utilizes two or more energy production methods, usually solar and wind power. The major advantage of solar / wind hybrid system is that when solar and wind power production are used together, the reliability of the system is enhanced. Additionally, the size of battery storage can be reduced slightly as there is less reliance on one method of power production. Often, when there is no sun, there is plenty of wind. In comparison to solar modules, wind turbines can offer a more favourable dollar per watt ratio.

You want to consider a hybrid system when you

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Good Day,

Wigton Windfarm Limited invites you to a Wind Resource Assessment: A Capacity Building Workshop which will be hosted at the Windfarm in Manchester on July 13th, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. There will be presenters from The University of the West Indies and The University of Technology.

Attached are the Flyer, Brochure, Direction Map and Registration Form. The Flyer and Brochure will give you more information about the workshop and background of the presenters. If you decide to attend, please fill out the registration form and payments can be made at the Wigton’s Office in the PCJ Building, 36 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10. Only thirty (30) spots are available, so it would be best to make confirmation as soon as possible.

For more information you can call Kimberly Budram or Michelle Chin Lenn at 960-3994/960-0568.

We hope to see you there.

Best Regards,
-Kimberly Budram
Wigton Windfarm Limited

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Local gasoline retailers are reporting a turnaround in sales in line with the continued decline in the price of

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Dear Reader,

This column appears on the very day that the landmark case challenging the monopoly licence of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will be heard in our country’s Supreme Court.

The JPS headquarters in New Kingston.

The case is immensely important and has wide implications for Jamaican consumers in general, and the energy sector in particular. It is being described in some quarters as “the most important development since Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica”.

Last September, three Jamaicans, with the backing of the consumer advocacy group, CURE (Citizens United to Reduce Electricity), filed a suit against the JPS contending that the light and power company has been operating under an illegal monopoly licence for decades in the island. The three are former senator, Dennis Meadows, children’s advocate, Betty Ann Blaine, and businessman, Cyrus Rousseau. The case being argued on behalf of the citizens of Jamaica is being led by Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman.

The substantive claim being made is that the JPS monopoly licence contravenes Section 3 of the Electric Lighting Act which stipulates that no one entity should be entitled to the generation of electricity in Jamaica. The claim also challenges the legality of the Office of Utility Regulations’ decision under Section 4 of the OUR Act in recommending that a monopoly licence be granted to the JPS. The three defendants in the case are the Government of Jamaica, the OUR and the JPS.

It is CURE’s position that for almost 50 years since the nation gained Independence, the JPS has operated under an illegal monopoly licence arrangement in which the company has been the sole provider of electricity, and a situation CURE argues that has not been in the best interest of Jamaican consumers.

Today, at US 41 cents per kilowatt hour, Jamaica has one of the highest electricity rates in the world, and the oil imported to generate this electricity is the largest single expense on the country’s national budget, representing 41 per cent of the country’s import bill. The expense of imported oil and imported food items together accounts for approximately 54 per cent of the total foreign currency imports into Jamaica.

Then there is the impact of decades of high electricity bills on the social fabric of the country. The stories of woes and hardships have been ceaseless – those coming from the poor and working classes especially have been overwhelming. There have been unending calls to talk shows about high and irreconcilable bills, stories of overbilling and disconnections, and talk of Jamaicans having to choose between buying food and paying light bills. While theft of any kind cannot be morally or legally justified, the high rate of electricity theft has been symptomatic of the exorbitant cost of electricity and its impact on the poor and working classes of this country.

Over the years I have been personally involved in cases where the elderly have been badly affected. I recall an old lady with tears running down her face, begging me to help because her light had been disconnected and she was living in darkness. In one entire community, citizens gathered together showing me their light bills which seemed clearly at odds with their modest one and two-room houses. This happened after the controversial smart meters were installed.

While the poor and working classes have been buckling under the pressure of high electricity bills, the small business sector has been operating on the verge of collapse. Perhaps more than any other group, Jamaica’s small and medium-sized business owners have been severely affected by the high cost of electricity, and even larger entities, such as the bauxite and cement companies have now found themselves in an uncompetitive environment as a result of high energy prices.

Today’s historic court case is unprecedented in Jamaican history. CURE believes that: “This move to have JPS’ illegal monopoly licence renegotiated is the inescapable foundation for building a new, competitive energy industry in Jamaica which will employ thousands, and above all, help to reduce the cost of electricity which everybody concedes is the single, greatest deterrent to economic growth and prosperity.”

Says CURE, “We are indeed thankful for what we have been able to accomplish with the support of citizens. This we feel is the beginning of a new approach to people power. We want to remind the JPS that while they are the “power” company, it is the people of Jamaica who hold the real power. It is now time for us to boldly challenge all the inequities in the society, and this case is a significant step in this regard.

“It is interesting to note that where monopoly licences are challenged and modified, that real competition begins to take place. Take a look at the current telecommunications industry and one sees how beneficial the competition is for consumers. We are calling on the government to take full advantage of this new development as they have done in the telecoms market, guaranteeing that the cost of electricity will go down, and that a fair and competitive system be put in place to benefit Jamaica.

“This case is also welcomed amidst the celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary as an independent nation. We believe that this is a significant milestone in the country’s development and we look forward to a positive judgment,” asserts CURE.

I believe that every Jamaican would say, “Amen.”

bab2609@yahoo.com

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Energy Efficiency Project Launched to Assist SMEs
Thursday, 21 June 2012
Written by JIS

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has launched an energy efficiency project targeted at Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The project, called DBJ GreenBiz, is aimed at providing technical and financial assistance in energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy to SMEs.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, lauded the programme at its official launch on June 20, at the Mona Visitors

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Hundreds of jobs to be created as Canadian firm heads to Jamaica to construct solar-powered recycling plant

Sheena Gayle, Sunday Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:Canadian-based recycling company Panther Corporation will build the first solar-powered recycling centre in Jamaica, representing a multibillon-dollar investment and the prospect of thousands of jobs being created.

The company will invest US$26 million to construct and outfit a 30,000 square foot modular facility in Retirement, St James, in proximity to the Retirement Dump, something the company’s president and director, Michael Mosgrove, is excited about.

“It was a perfect fit for Jamaica and for us because of the sunlight. In addition, the demand for recycling in Jamaica is huge right now,” the Canadian investor told

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June 22, 2012

Dear Energy Partner:

Secure Your Energy Future with the IS0 50001 Energy Management Seminar

The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited in collaboration with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica doing business as National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) will be hosting the captioned seminar in Kingston on July 10, 2012 and in Montego Bay on July 1

The purpose of the seminar is to generate awareness and encourage applicability of the need to employ sustainable energy efficiency measures. This will not only alleviate the impact of the spiraling costs associated with the use of electricity, but will also help to improve your company