Jamaica’s government is going greener.
The country announced recently that it would join the Solar Head of State coalition and install solar photovoltaic panels on the island’s national executive office, Jamaica House.
The announcement comes in keeping with the island’s promise to transition to 30 percent renewable energy by 2030.
“This project is symbolic of the renewable future we see for Jamaica and the Caribbean,” said Prime Minister Andrew Holness. “Islands like Jamaica are becoming leaders for demonstrating the deployment of solar technology, and I aim to lead by example, by installing solar PV on the Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica House.”
Jamaica House was built in Kingston to be the official office for the Prime Minister of Jamaica after the country gained its independence in 1962.
“With this vision in mind, the time has come to begin the transition,” said Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr. Andrew Wheatley. “What better way to start than with the Solarization of Jamaica House. This renewable energy revolution is not only essential but exciting and we want all of Jamaica to share in this vision and excitement.”
Solar Head of State partners governments with solar technology companies, local installers, major climate NGOs and foundations to offer professionally installed solar systems on the residences of heads of state or government around the world.
With support from its partners, Solar Head of State will install a donated 15kW grid-connected photovoltaic system on Jamaica House, ultimately saving the government thousands of dollars on energy expenditures.
Jamaica also plans to implement energy projects identified at COP 22, where delegates from 195 countries met to discuss the recently adopted Paris Agreement.
“I’m so pleased to see Jamaica setting such a great example,” said Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, a leading advocate for green energy in the Caribbean.
The installation work will be undertaken by U.S. firm Solar Island Energy, working with the National Energy Solutions Limited – an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology – and Envisage Energy – a local Jamaican company focused on building the island’s sustainable future.
The project is supported by Elms Consulting, a London-based strategic consulting firm working to accelerate sustainable development on islands.
The solar PV panels for the Jamaica House are being donated by Trina Solar.
— Dana Niland, CJ Contributor