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Wind Energy is Jamaica’s Oil as PCJ ramps up Wigton Wind Farms for 320 million kWh

“With our current focus on utilising our natural resources to address our Energy challenges, both the government and the private sector need credible information to make development and investment decisions about viable Energy solutions”

Interview with WWFL (Wigton Wind Farms Limited) General Manager, Earl Barrett as published Friday, August 23, 2013 in the Jamaica Observer

The PCJ (Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica) Press Release has detailed a study done using wind data collected from twenty four (24) sites across Jamaica from data collected between November 2011 and January 2012. The study, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the PCJ, is part of PCJ’s plans to expand the utilization of Jamaica’s Wind Energy Capacity to other parts of the island by demonstrating its potential to reduce Jamaica’s Oil Bill and possibly lower Electricity rates.

It’s also a swing for potential FDI (Foreign Direct Investors) to invest in WWFL to quote the PCJ Press Release, quote: “The national wind resource assessment will be a great resource to the majority of interests in Jamaica’s Energy Sector, but we hope it will be particularly useful for potential investors”. The possibility thus exists as the PetroCaribe Agreement seems to be in a State of Limbo after the change of Government in Colombia, with a possibility of a Rate Increase, despite Official GOJ (Government of Jamaica).

WWFL (Wigton Wind Farms Limited) current output is set to increase once the Wigton III Project comes on stream as was mentioned in the article “Wigton Wind Farm: Origins and Future Development of Wind Energy in Jamaica”. That output for the current installation, which comprises Wigton I Project and Wigton II Project, reads as follows:

  • The Total Number of Wind Turbines is 32

  • 38.7 MW of installed capacity

  • 97 GWh Average Power Output per annum

The PCJ’s study has identified three (3) new sites that show great potential to adding more clean Renewable Energy to Jamaica’s Grid:

  • Kemps Hill in Clarendon

  • Top Lincoln in Manchester,

  • Winchester in the shadow of the John Crow Mountains, St Thomas

It’s good to note here that Wigton III Project, which is to come on stream sometime in the Fourth Quarter of 2013, is set to add the following to WWFL by 2015:

  • Twelve (12) 2000 KW Vestas V80 Wind Turbines

  • 24 MW Total combined output

  • 63 GWh Average Power Output per annum

Once Wigton III Project is online, WWFL will ramp up as follows:

  • The Total Number of Wind Turbines is 44

  • 62.7 MW of installed capacity

  • 150 GWh Average Power Output per annum

According to their numbers, these three (3) sites are ripe for Wind Energy Development as they can help Jamaica achieve the following:

  • 5.3 GWh per annum per site

  • 15.9 GWh per annum for all three (3) sites

WWFL estimates that it can get up to 212 GWh out of the three (3) additional sites, apparently by adding a lot of Wind Turbines at each site. If the total Output of Wigton I Project, Wigton II Project, Wigton III Project, the three (3) sites and JPS Co’s (Jamaica Public Service Company) Munro Wind Farm’s tallies up to the following potential:

  • 320 GWh per annum of Electricity (362 GWh by my math!)

  • Reduce the National Oil Bill by 124,000 barrels per annum

  • $1.2 billion per annum reduction in the National Oil Bill

Throw in the fact that WWFL has submitted a proposal after the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) had put out a RFP (Request for Proposal) for 115 MW of Renewable Energy Capacity. Based on the potential of the development of the three (3) additional sites, WWFL stands a strong chance of gaining the contract to supply the 115MW of electricity from Renewable Energy sources.

Clearly this would be very attractive to FDI, as that would translate to a lot of money made both in sales of Electricity to JPS Co as well as Carbon Credits. Wind Energy is Jamaica’s Oil as PCJ ramps up Wigton Wind Farms for 320 million kWh!

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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