Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | October 14, 2009
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JPS, NWC to team up for hydropower production
The Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC) are finalising a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise a joint venture between the two utility companies, which will see the Constant Spring Hydroelectric Power Plant back in operation.

The disclosure was made recently by JPS Head of Projects and Infrastructure Management, David Cook, who explained that the 21-year-old power plant, which has been out of service since 2001, is in the finishing stages of renovation being undertaken at a cost of US$1 million (J$89 million).

The facility, located at the NWC's Constant Spring Treatment Plant in St Andrew, will be accessed by JPS under a lease arrangement. The electric utility will take advantage of the flow of the Wag Water and Boar rivers as well as the Hermitage dam to generate electricity.

Fully automated

The newly-renovated Constant Spring Hydroelectric plant will be fully automated, allowing JPS engineers to remotely carry out such functions as closing and opening valves and determining the flow of water. The newly-rehabilitated power plant, which is expected to become fully operational at the end of November, can result in a fuel cost-saving of US$740,000 per annum, assuming a cost of US$100 per barrel.

This initiative will allow JPS to add just under one megawatt of electricity to the national grid, which can service approximately 3,000 households with an average consumption of 170 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.

The renovation of the Constant Spring Hydroelectric Plant is just one in a number of initiatives to increase the power supply. Only recently, an additional 10 mega-watts were added to the power generating capacity of the Bogue Power Plant in Montego Bay as part of the company's effort to improve efficiencies and increase the electricity supply available to the national grid.

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