German-based MPC Renewable Energies is planning to invest between US$75 million and US$100 million in wind and solar PV projects here over the next few years. - Nation News
by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH
INTEREST IN BARBADOS’ renewable energy sector is heating up.
German-based MPC Renewable Energies is planning to invest between US$75 million and US$100 million in wind and solar PV projects here over the next few years.
The company’s managing director Martin Vogt told the DAILY NATION this would likely result in “300 to 500 temporary construction jobs, and 30 to 40 full-time jobs during operations and maintenance”.
MPC Renewable Energies, whose parent company MPC Capital is partnering with Guinea Estates Inc. in St John, is planning to get started with construction of a five-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) development next year.
“The first project will require about US$6 million for construction and will be financed with debt and equity,” said Vogt. “If the project development is not materially delayed, construction could potentially start in Quarter 3 of 2020, with commissioning expected four to six months later.”
Monitored energy market
The official, who is based in Hamburg, explained: “Guinea Estates Inc. and MPC Capital are joint development partners, with Guinea steering the local development activities. Guinea is also the land owner that identifies and provides suitable land plots for solar PV developments, which are leased by the project.”
It is expected that the first solar project will provide jobs for “30 to 50 local workers from the surrounding communities. Operations and maintenance will lead to about five full-time jobs”.
In a recently issued announcement about the planned Barbados investments, Vogt said they had closely monitored the renewable energy market in Barbados for the past three years.
“Under Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her administration, the investment climate and renewable energy framework have improved significantly in the last 12 months. Strong political support is essential in order for us to enter into and gain a foothold in new markets,” he said.
Investment in region
“We believe in the country’s commitment to be 100 per cent reliant on renewable energy by 2030 and are proud to support Barbados to achieve this goal. By actively pursuing and succeeding in obtaining attractive investment opportunities for the MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund, we continue to demonstrate our role as a leading investor in the region.”
MPC Renewable Energies is “already active” in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia.
“Our projects in Jamaica and Colombia are making excellent progress. In fact, the 51 MW solar PV... Paradise Park in Jamaica is expected to be commissioned in June, thus becoming the largest solar park in the English-speaking Caribbean region and the cheapest source of energy on the island,” Vogt said.
“We kicked off our investment activities in Jamaica in 2016 and have since profited from the country’s economic and fiscal improvements. Jamaica embraces renewables as part of its long-term vision and has committed to transitioning to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“We strongly believe that Barbados has the potential to achieve similar goals, both economically and in terms of renewable energy. The country is already taking steps to further reduce the need for CO2-emitting fossil fuel energy, and we are confident that it will benefit greatly from stepping up its plans for renewables,” he added.
Copyright (c) 2019 Nation Publishing Co. Limited, Edition 06/04/2019 June 4, 2019 7:41 am (GMT +4:00)