Cuba, the largest of the beautiful islands of the Caribbean – often referred to as the “Pearl of the Antilles”, recently unveiled plans to embark on a massive wind power development project. The project will see the integration of eight new wind farms into the Cuban National Electricity Grid by 2020, projected to contribute 280 megawatts (MW) of power, and saving of 200,000 tons of conventional fuel per year.
According to the daily Chinese tabloid, Global Times, six of the listed wind farms will be built in eastern Cuba at 30 MW capacity each and the other two in the central region with capacity of 50 MW each. The state-run daily paper, Juventud Rebelde, quoted the director of Emergency Power Generation and Renewable Energy Sources, Aleisly Valdes, as saying:“the facilities will cost a considerable sum, but I believe that the investment will be recouped in a period of less than 10 years.”He further went on to add that the wind farms will help reduce the island’s carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emission by 184,000 tons per year.
Cuba has the potential to generate 1,200 MW of wind energy per year, according to researchers, and has already made good strides in integrating wind power into its electricity mix with three wind farms – the Gibara, Los Canarreos and Isla Turiguano Wind Farms. Their latest addition being a 4500kW expansion of the Givara Wind Farm, commissioned in 2010.The Wind Power – a worldwide database of wind farms, owners, wind turbines, and turbine manufacturers – state the rating of Cuba’s three wind farms as:
- Gibara (9,600 kW, 12 turbines)
- Isla Turiguano (450 kW, 2 turbines)
- Los Canarreos (1,650 kW, 6 turbines)
giving Cuba a total installed capacity of 11.7MW.