Jamaica Public Service Unveils Plan for Munro Wind Energy Project

JPS Project Planning and Development Analyst, Richard Gordon, presented a technical overview of the wind farm, which among other things explained the suitability of the Hermitage/Munro location from which the power of the North East Trade Winds will be harvested.

The four wind turbines, which are slated for installation by the 4th quarter of 2010, will have a lifetime of 20 years, and are designed to withstand storm winds of up to 150 miles per hour. The wind power project project, he explained, is part of an overall thrust to increase the use of renewable energy sources, like wind energy and splar power, from just under 5%, to 15% by the year 2015.

Residents were also guided through the Environmental Impact Assessment report which was prepared by independent environmental consultants, Environmental and Engineering Managers Ltd., and presented by Mrs. Ianthe Smith.

The group was assured that the environmental footprint of the wind energy project would be a small one, with the development leaving no deleterious effects on the plant or animal life of the environment.

The session was also used to inform members of the community of the need for preparatory road works, to facilitate the transportation of heavy equipment. Movement of such equipment will take place at night between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 a.m., to minimize disruption for road users.

The construction period of the project will also see the creation of at least 60 jobs for members of the local community, in both skilled and unskilled capacities.

Mayor of Black River, His Worship Jeremy Palmer, expressed pleasure at the power Company’s attention to developing renewable energy sources. Mayor Palmer told the audience that he had been briefed on the project from its earliest planning stages and was looking forward to its completion.

JPS will continue to have dialogue with the community as the development progresses. The Munro renewable project, is expected to add 3 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

In the Caribbean, 12 MW of wind energy is installed in Curacao and 23 MW at Jamaica. The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica through its wholly owned subsidiary, Wigton Windfarm Limited has constructed a wind farm at Wigton, a small rural district in Central Manchester. Consisting of twenty-three (23) 900-kilowatt wind turbines, the Wigton Windfarm has an estimated capacity of 20.7 Megawatts of power.