REdiscover: Munro College Wind Turbine (Jamaica)

In our last rediscover article we looked briefly on the Rosalie Bay Resort Wind Turbine in Dominica. In this article in the series I will look at the Munro College Wind Turbine in Jamaica.

Munro College is an all boys secondary school located in the parish of St. Elizabeth on one of the peaks of the Santa Cruz Mountain at an altitude of 2,500 ft. This site is favourable for wind energy harvesting due to its altitude and relatively flat, but actually undulating terrain.

The Munro College wind turbine was installed and commissioned in 1996 as Jamaica’s first commercial wind turbine and the first
grid-connected wind turbine generator in the English-speaking Caribbean. The project was an initiative of the by the Past Students Association and was primarily funded by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), but also included a long list of local companies and individuals. The total installation cost of the facility was US$300,000. However, much of the local services, such as JPS’s (Jamaica Public Service) services and  ALPART’s (Alumina Partners of Jamaica) crane services, were donated free of cost.

The wind turbine generator is a Vestas V27 – 225 kW. This is three blade turbine with pitch controlled, active yaw and high speed rotor systems. The generator is a 50Hz 400VAC 6/8 poles doublewound asynchronous machine connected to one of JPS’s distribution feeder via a step up transformer at the base of the tower. It is rated to produce between 517,000 to 808,000 kWh annually based on the site’s attributes. 

V27-225 WTG

The figure above shows the modular drive train of the Vestas V27-225: 1 nacelle frame, 2 main shaft, 3 pitch mechanism, 4 rotor blade, 5 cast steel hub, 6 spur gearbox, 7 torsionally elastic gear suspension, 8 brake, 9 pole-switchable asynchronous generator, 10 fast shaft with coupling, 11sliding clutch, 12 hydraulic unit, 13 yaw drive, 14 yaw ring, 15 power cable twist control, 16 top control unit (Gasch and Twele, 2012).

In 2012 the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) invested approximately J$7.7 million via the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PCDF) to rehabilitate the wind turbine. As part of this initiative Wigton Windfarm Limited will provide technical assistance and training to 4th and 5th form students in renewable energy, as well as the installation and maintenance of the requisite technologies.

Next in our rediscover series we will look at the SCASPA Solar Farm in St. Kitts.

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