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Wind farm project to provide more power savings

A US$49-million wind farm expansion project in Jamaica — that will reduce carbon emissions, significantly boost electricity production and save the country millions of dollars — will be launched in a week’s time.

The Wigton Wind Farm expansion project in the west-central parish of Manchester will include the installation of nine new two-megawatt wind turbines that will generate 18 megawatts of power, increasing the total amount of energy produced by Wigton to 38.7 megawatts. The power will be sold to the Jamaica Public Service for domestic use.

The expansion, which is fully financed from the PetroCaribe Development Fund, will mean approximately 55 gigawatt hours of energy, enough to power about 24,000 homes. It will also result in saving about 32,400 barrels of oil valued at US$2.3 million, and in so doing, avoid 45,954 tonnes of carbon emissions, as wind energy is cleaner than energy derived from oil.

Minister of Energy and Mining James Robertson will break ground for the project next Wednesday, March 17th. He said the plant is scheduled to be commissioned in July.

He added that the project advances the new thrust outlined in the National Energy Policy.

“A cornerstone of this policy is diversifying our energy base. We will find new ways to power our economy and to reduce the amount of energy we use. We will explore indigenous sources of energy and clean technologies, thereby injecting life into research institutions and generating new, green jobs at a time when new jobs are so sorely needed,” he said.

“This policy will also enable us to reduce pollution and thereby protect the health of all Jamaicans as they go about their daily business. It will demonstrate that Jamaica is a responsible global citizen as we minimise our emissions of greenhouse gases, and reduce our carbon footprint.”

The expansion of the Wigton Wind Farm will increase Jamaica’s energy output from renewable sources and help the country to meet its target of 11 per cent of energy needs from renewable sources by 2010. At present, only five per cent of Jamaica’s energy comes from renewable sources.

Wigton Wind Farm is a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, which is an agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mining. It was incorporated in 2000 to develop wind farms and similar renewable energy systems to harness energy for generation of electricity for commercial and domestic use.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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