Garfield Myers (Jamaica Observer) reports on the news that BMR Jamaica Wind Limited in Malvern, St Elizabeth and its United States-based parent company BMR Energy are being acquired by Sir Richard Branson, international investor based in Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. Branson’s explained that this purchase was meant to help “speed up the clean energy revolution and assist the drive for universal carbon neutrality by 2050.”
[. . .] Even as he introduced Branson to make brief remarks, Bruce Levy, president of BMR Energy, told those gathered at the ceremony at Potsdam that Branson’s conglomerate Virgin Group “are now in the process of acquiring BMR and BMR Jamaica Wind”.
Branson, a Briton who lives in the Caribbean, declared that his decision to buy BMR was not motivated by any desire to make money but rather to help speed up the clean energy “revolution” and assist the drive for universal “carbon neutrality” by 2050.
The BMR project in Malvern priced at US$89.9 million is being described as the single largest investment in St Elizabeth since the construction of the Alpart alumina plant in the late 1960s. The project involves 11 3.3 MW wind turbines, which will provide wind energy to light and power company, Jamaica Public Service’s national grid at 12.9 US cents per KWH.
Energy sector leaders say it will reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels by about US$500 million over the 20-year life of the plant.
“I decided recently that we needed to get one, get one or two core (clean energy) companies under our belt so that we can actually get out there and speed up this revolution,” said Branson in explaining the decision to buy.
“We were delighted to acquire BMR and we will be out there trying to hustle and bustle governments all over the Caribbean and other countries to hurry up towards carbon neutrality by 2050. Personally I don’t need to make money out of it, if it makes a bit of money, fine, if it doesn’t, fine. I just want to get the sun out there, get the solar out there, get … powered by sun , wind, sea… get a green energy revolution and bring the cost of energy down for everybody; get rid of the dangers of coal and oil and the dirty (energy sources) that we are using today…” he said.
[Photo above by Gregory Bennett: Energy Minister Andrew Wheatley (right) greets US ambassador Luis Moreno (left) at the commissioning of BMR wind farm. At center is investor Richard Branson.]