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US$4-M hydro plant in St Ann a lucrative possibility

Wigton Windfarms limited plans to more than double its capacity over the next three years at a cost of approximately US$50 million.
Through wind energy projects that are to be pursued should lead to an 18 MW expansion on Wigton lands during the first phase, at a cost of US$43.2 million.
Additionally, the government-owned power producers plans to execute a shareholder agreement with interested parties for a joint venture company leading to development of a small hydro 2 megawatt (MW) facility at Laughlands, St Ann at a cost of US$4.1 million by the last quarter of this year.
The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), the state agency charged with securing the island’s energy hopes to derive up to 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the flow of water, through such partnerships.
Hydro and wind are the most competitive renewable energy sources with fossil fuels but the hydro plant stands out as the more lucrative.
Wind generation, as with the case of Wigton Wind Farm, the state-run power generation company, yields around a third of installed capacity, contrasting the 80 per cent or more of installed capacity that one can get from hydro plants.
According to the estimates done by Wigton, the capital cost for the 18 MW windfarm will run at around US$2,400 per kilowatt (kW) installed, while the Hydro plant will cost just over US$2,000 per kW.
Conventional petroleum-based generating plants run at less than US$1,000 per kWh.
The firm capacity of the plants, or the actually amount supplied to the nation’s power grid, show an even higher capital cost for wind, placing it at nearly three times the cost of hydro.
Mikel Oerbekke, a director of Eco-Tec, a technology firm operating out of Westmoreland, Jamaica, however, says the higher costs of both should not be looked at in isolated of the avoided cost of oil needs.
“One megawatt-hour (MWh) cost between US$110 and US$118 for oil,” said Oerbekke.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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