Jamaica Surpasses 100 MW of Installed Wind Power

Jamaica recently connects two new wind farms (Wigton III and BMR) to its electricity grid of combined capacity of 60 megawatts (MW).  This pushes the paradise Island beyond the 100 MW mark to a total installed capacity of 102 MW.

The Wigton III Wind Farmcarosel-3Wigton III is a 24 MW wind farm owned and operated by Wigton Windfarm Ltd (WWFL) – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). WWFL also own and operate two other farms – Wigton I and II rated at 20.7 and 18 MW respectively. The new facility consists of twelve G80-2.0 MW wind turbines, a 9.6 km 69 kilovolts (kV) transmission line, and a new substation constructed by the Spanish firm Gamesa.

It is expected to reduce the national oil consumption by an additional 37,100 barrels per year, which can save the country more than JA$230 million annually, adding to the more than JA$3 billion saved by the country in the past 11 years through the operations of Wigton I and Wigton II, commissioned in 2004 and 2010, respectively. The expansion has brought Wigton’s total capacity to 62.7 MW, retaining its position as the largest wind energy facility in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean.

The BMR Wind Farm

The BMR (Blue Mountain Renewable) is also a new wind farm, rated at 36.3 MW. It consists of eleven V112-3.3 MW wind turbines, a 18 km 69 kV transmission line and a substation constructed by dutch firm Vestas. The US$90 million project is the single largest private sector investment in renewable energy undertake to date in the Island. BMR will sell electric energy to the grid operator (JPS) at US12.9 cents per kilowatt-hour in accordance with their 20 years power purchase agreement.

Bottom Line

These two wind farm projects were selected as the lowest-price projects among 28 proposals offered in response to the OUR’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the addition of 115 MW of renewable energy power generation capacity in 2012. Given that Jamaica has now gained a decent track record of successfully commissioning wind projects. Then it is expected that at least two such wind farms should come online by the end of 2018.

This is especially, in light of the recent announcement by the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, during the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate that the Government will soon be advertising an RFP for the supply of an additional 100 MW of renewable energy.



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Greening Nevis Electricity Sector

Nevis, the sister isle of St. Kitts, is on its way to becoming carbon neutral in the near future. The two-island state is part of the Leeward Islands chain in the Eastern Caribbean. The small island of Nevis is home to a population of about 12,000 and it receives approximately 90 percent of its energy from imported oil products, with the remaining share coming from wind power. Nevis has its own electric utility, Nevis Electricity Company Limited (Nevlec), which owns and operates capacity of 13.4 MW with peak demand of around 9 MW and a base load of 5 MW.

Maddens Wind FarmIn 2010, Windwatt Nevis Ltd. (a private developer) installed a 2.2 MW wind park at Maddens Estate. The Maddens Wind Park, which consist of 8  Vergnet 275 kW wind turbines, supplies energy into Nevlec’s 11kV distribution grid.  Nevlec is obligated to purchase up to 1.6 MW of energy from the wind park according to the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the two companies.

With wind power experience under its wings, Nevis is now pushing to exploit its vast geothermal energy potential. The  Nevis Investment Agency (NIA) is currently welcoming proposals from potential developers with strong financial backing for the development of geothermal. The exploration phase has been completed and it is anticipated that least a 10 MW geothermal plant can be constructed in the not too distant future.

Geothermal SourceIf, or when, this is achieved Nevis will be uniquely placed within the sub-region as a low cost, stable and renewable energy supplier. This project would have many positive benefits for the island including reduction in the cost of electricity; increase employment; energy security; improvement in the investment climate; significant revenue generation from royalty payments, electricity sales domestically including to St. Kitts and potentially neighboring islands. The project would have strong linkages to other sectors such as tourism and agriculture for heating purposes.

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Apple’s Wind Energy Storage Soln.

Technology giant Apple Inc. has push the notch further with one of its later patent application, “ON-DEMAND GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY FROM STORED WIND ENERGY “. The intended objective of Apple’s proposal is to address the variability Continue reading →

Jamaica Leads with 41.93 (MW)

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