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OPIC to Support 20 MW Jamaican Solar Energy Facility

Thursday, June 25, 2015

(OPIC)  Florida-based WRB Enterprises to develop Clarendon solar photovoltaic facility

$47 million OPIC loan catalyzes private sector support for White House Caribbean Energy Security Initiative

KINGSTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, today signed a financing agreement with Content Solar Ltd., solidifying a $47 million OPIC loan to support a 20 megawatt grid-connected solar photovoltaic facility in Clarendon, Jamaica. The project is being developed by Tampa, Fla.-based WRB Enterprises (WRB).

WRB will be the first investor to develop a utility-scale solar energy generation facility in Jamaica. The project is also the second to be financed by OPIC in support of the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, a U.S. government effort announced by Vice President Biden in June 2014.

Reliable, sustainable energy will provide Jamaica’s economy important stability, and help the country make important progress toward energy security. Especially for island nations, power generation from traditional thermal sources can be expensive and volatile due to the cost of imported fuels.

Jamaica currently generates over 90% of its electricity from imported oil, and in addition to fulfilling the U.S. initiative, OPIC’s financing to Content Solar for this new solar facility also supports the Jamaican Government’s own goals to increase generation of secure, renewable energy.

WRB’s Chairman and CEO G. Robert Blanchard signed the agreement alongside OPIC Chief of Staff John Morton. Jamaican Minister of Energy Phillip Paulwell and U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Luis G. Moreno officiated the ceremony.

“The largest in the Caribbean, WRB’s Content Solar project will deliver clean, reliable, renewable energy at a stable price to Jamaica for decades to come. It will power more than 20,000 Jamaican homes, while displacing more than 3 million gallons of fuel each year. It is an important milestone not only for Jamaica, but the entire Caribbean,” said WRB’s Chairman, Robert Blanchard.

“OPIC’s financing to WRB for Content Solar will both help the Jamaican people take an important step toward energy security and also show that Jamaica is a market where private investors can find opportunity for growth. I’m eager to build on our long, productive relationship with WRB to help show that renewable power is more than a positive environmental step, it makes sound business sense,” said John Morton, OPIC’s Chief of Staff.

“We are very excited that WRB Enterprises, a U.S. company, committed to making this substantial investment,” Ambassador Moreno stated. “This supports my priority to spur U.S. investment in Jamaica. I’m proud to say that U.S. private investment in renewable energy in Jamaica will top $150 million over the next couple years. These projects wouldn’t be possible without OPIC financing.”