People, Environment

Jamaica Welcomes Virgin Group’s Green Investment

Jamaica Welcomes Virgin Group’s Green InvestmentJamaica Welcomes Virgin Group’s Green Investment

Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Andrew Wheatley has welcomed the move by British billionaire and head of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, to acquire Blue Mountain Renewables Jamaica Wind Limited.

“The signal this has sent is that we are open for business here in Jamaica. These are the kinds of investments that can lead to even bigger and better things and which our country needs in our drive for economic prosperity and a sustainable future,” he said.

Minister of Finance and Public Service Audley Shaw, who was also in attendance, said the investment by the British billionaire is a significant move and one that bodes well for the country.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” he said.

Chief executive of the company, Bruce Levy, said the investment by Branson “is great news for Jamaica and the future of its people”, he said, noting that the businessman has a passion and commitment to renewable energy, reported.

Branson, in his remarks at the function, pointed out that his primary interest is not to make a return on his investment, but to be part of a global push to achieve carbon-neutral status by 2050.

He added that clean air “is something that has no boundaries and that it is incumbent that we get the wind mills out there, get the solar out there, get the wave energy out there and create a green energy revolution that brings the cost of energy down for everybody and gets rid of the danger of coal and oil and the dirty-producing energies that we have today.”

The $89 million BMR wind farm has a generating capacity of 36.3 megawatts and is expected to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels by about 5 million barrels over the 20-year life of the plant.

Levy said the project has provided significant benefit to the local community, with billions of dollars of direct spending and employment of hundreds of persons during construction.