Cabinet has approved the replacement of 171.5 megawatts of power capacity via the Jamaica Public Service’s (JPS) ageing power-generation plants under the right-of-first-refusal provision.
The power plants are to be replaced as best as practicable by mature renewable sources.
Minister of Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz, disclosed the information during his contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
“The ministry notes the JPS’s intention to deepen its renewable footprint via the replacement of these retiring plants with mature renewables. In this regard, Cabinet has also given approval for amendments to the Electricity Act to enable the JPS to replace its retiring capacity with renewables,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vaz indicated that electricity theft is a recurring and growing threat to the national power grid and, to a greater extent, public safety.
He informed that the ministry has concluded, with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an Energy Loss Independent Report that outlines the next steps.
These include the development of a National Electricity Loss Reduction Plan for Jamaica, covering energy-efficiency initiatives, communications, empowerment, and enforcement.
“I want to use this forum in the people’s Parliament to make a special and urgent appeal to those persons who are stealing electricity to cease and desist. The risk to life and property is simply not worth it. Your Government is working to reduce the cost of electricity while we assist more Jamaicans with cost-effective ways to regularise their electricity supply,” Vaz said.