The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) will invest more than US$100 million towards the modernisation of the nation’s electricity grid, within the next five years.
This according to President and Chief Executive Officer of JPS, Emanuel DaRosa, at the recent Energy Climate Partnership of Americas (ECPA) Ministerial Meeting, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
DaRosa said to expedite the modernisation of the grid, the company has installed smart switches, trip savers, fault indicators and automated several of its systems.
“At the core of the smart grid is the smart meter and at this point, half of our customers in Jamaica have smart meters, so we can do several things we could not do before.”
He added that as the company continues to modernise its activities, it is moving towards notifying customers via a text message of power outages and restoration.
“There is a tremendous amount of investment and modernisation going on in the Jamaican energy field and there is far more to come. Energy globally is moving in three directions – affordability, sustainability and reliability – so we are putting much greater focus on these areas. We’re looking at microgrid opportunities, the automation of our transmission and distribution networks for self-healing capacity and energy storage,” he said.
DaRosa argued that the field of energy is changing rapidly, so the JPS is supportive of the new policies set out by the Government, such as Vision 2030 and the electric vehicle policy.
“We’re the national electricity supplier and we play an important role in the development of Jamaica, so we’re doing a lot of things to support both policies.”– President and Chief Executive Officer of JPS, Emanuel DaRosa
He referenced the US$315-million power plant that was constructed in Old Harbour by the company, saying “The new power plant is a huge advancement for Jamaica. Its efficiency is twice that of the plant it replaced, as it produces twice as much energy.”
The island’s current peak demand is 660 megawatts and is forecast to increase to 877 megawatts by the year 2035, the JPS boss said, adding that the company will diversify its energy sources to efficiently meet the growing demand for energy.