CB Group’s ‘Power Up’ project unveils four new solar energy systems – Jamaica Gleaner

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At its Peninsula Farms facility in Banbury, Linstead, St Catherine, Caribbean Broilers (CB) Jamaica Limited Group officially launched its solar power project ‘Power Up’ yesterday. The initiative is a joint venture with Soleco Energy Jamaica Limited.

With the installation of solar photovoltaic power plants throughout the company’s four main sites, the approximately US$3-million project strives to support Jamaica’s sustainable agriculture.

The entire agriculture sector welcomed this milestone, said Floyd Green, minister of agriculture and fisheries, who praised the CB Group and Soleco Energy for their inventive attitude and “forward-thinking approach”.

“Based on my research, this makes the CB Group the largest corporate producer of solar energy in Jamaica,” he stated.

“Our agriculture sector stands at the cornerstone of Jamaica. Last year we contributed about 8.3 per cent of our national GDP (gross domestic product) and I was looking at the figures and over the last 10 or so years we’ve been moving from contributing about 5 per cent of GDP to now 8.3 per cent and we do expect to hit 10 per cent in another two years or so,” Green said.

Continuing, he said that the “unfortunate” situation in Jamaica is that manufacturing is counted separately from agriculture’s contributions.

“So, when you count CB which is an agriculture company under our contributions to GDP, we would be far more than 8.3 per cent but … of the 8.3 per cent … our poultry sector contributes about 80 per cent … so CB is a massive part of our contribution to GDP,” he stated.

He went on to say that the ‘Power Up’ project was well aligned with the ministry’s New Face of Food campaign, which aims to promote food security, agribusiness development, climate change technologies, and export expansion.

“So, while leveraging renewable energy sources, including but not limited to solar power, we can enhance efficiencies, we can reduce production costs, we can mitigate our environmental impact, thus ensuring our resilience and longevity in agriculture,” Green said.

Matthew Lyn, CB Group’s chief executive officer, underlined the significance of the ‘Power Up’ initiative to the organisation’s sustainability journey.

He revealed that the company has continued to invest in the food security of Jamaica because they genuinely believe in the agriculture sector and that “true independence comes when we can feed ourselves”.

Lyn continued that the group was guided by 3Ps – people, planet, and profit, and that when decisions are being made, the potential impact on what that decision might have on one of these factors are considered.

“And if it’s good for one and not good for the other, generally it’s not going to happen,” he added.


The partnership between CB Group and Soleco Energy began in 2021 and by the end of 2023 the project was completed.

In total, all four installations add 2.1-Megawatts defined conditions (MWdc), substantially reducing dependency on traditional energy sources at the following locations: CB Foods Cold Storage Distribution Centre in Freetown with 1.1-Megawatt peak (MWp); Peninsula Hatchery and Farms in Linstead with 0.30 MWp; Newport Mills in Kingston with 0.50 MWp; and Caribbean Hatchery in Old Harbour with 0.2 MWp.

The Group’s total network production has reached 3.8 MW and has substituted solar power for about 20 per cent of its energy consumption to make a significant progress in the fight against climate change.

Innovation, community, and sustainability were the three main factors, according to Soleco Energy CEO Angella Rainford, that led to the successfully completed project.

She went on to say that the project was incredible because it not only enables many companies to improve efficiency and lower costs, but that it helps to minimise their carbon impact.

“The projects that we’ve implemented for CB each year will displace at least 285 tonnes of carbon. So, for the contract per term that we have, that’s over 5,000 tonnes of carbon which is being removed from the system,” she said.

In his keynote address, Daryl Vaz, minister of science, energy, and technology, highlighted the value of sustainable agricultural methods and the role that technology plays in increasing Jamaica’s self-sufficient energy supply.

“The transition to renewable energy is a necessity. As we face the challenges of climate change and finite fossil fuel reserves, it is imperative that we embrace clean renewable energy sources. From agriculture to manufacturing, from transportation to healthcare, no sector is immune from these far-reaching effects,” Vaz said.

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