August 14, 2008
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica plans to build a solar energy plant in the island's southeast to help reduce its annual $3.7 billion energy bill.
Energy Minister Clive Mullings says the plant is one of the government's top 12 projects.
Mullings said Thursday that within three months, officials will announce cost estimates and a start date for construction.
The facility will be financed through Venezuela's Petrocaribe program, which provides poor nations with cheap oil and money for community projects.
Previous administrations have sought to reduce energy costs by installing photovoltaic street lights and promoting the use of ethanol. The government expects to mandate island-wide use of ethanol-blended fuel by April 2009.