The environmental license granted, conditioned by a series of guidelines required by the highest environmental authority of La Guajira and may be suspended, amended or revoked when the beneficiary does not fulfill any of the terms, conditions, obligations enshrined in the law, regulations or in the same provision, act as well as the recommendations and follow-up, visits product requirements inherent in it requirements control and environmental monitoring.
The wind regime in Colombia is among the best in South America. Offshore regions of the northern part of Colombia, such as in the Guajira Department, have been classified with class 7 winds (over 10 meters per second (m/s)). The only other region in Latin America with such high wind power classification is the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.
Colombia has an estimated theoretical wind power potential of 21 GW just in the Guajira Department, enough to generate sufficient power to meet the national demand almost twice over. However, the country only has an installed capacity of 40 MW of wind energy, tapping only 0.2% of its theoretical wind potential.
This capacity is concentrated in a single project, the Jepírachi Wind Project, developed by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) under a Carbon Finance mechanism arranged by the World Bank. Nordex was responsible for supplying, installing and commissioning of the wind turbines. Nordex is responsible for the maintenance.
On December 21, 2003, utility Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) together with Nordex started up the first eight of a total of 15 wind turbines at Colombia’s first wind. Located in the territory of the Wayúu Indians in the desert of the Guajira peninsular, the Jepirachi wind farm comprises 15 Nordex N60 wind turbines all producing clean electricity.
The other wind farm is Wayúu con 20 MW. In July 2003 the feasibility study for the project was started. The wind farm is located in the vicinity of Puerto Bolivar on private land. The area is a semi-desert with very high average temperatures. The wind resource at the site belongs to the best wind resource in the world with average wind speeds of 11,3 m/s at hub height of 67-m.
The Vestas V80 – 2.0 wind turbine was chosen for the site. This turbine has a effective rotor diameter of 80-m, a nominal capacity of 2 MW and a 67-m tower was chosen. The project size was determined by the fact that projects under a 20 MW size are dispatched with priority by the Colombian dispatcher. Therefore 10 wind turbines will be installed in an initial phase of the project. It is quite possible that the project will be further extended.
Based on the wind resource and taking into account the losses and uncertainties the project will produce approximately 87 GWh per annum. In doing so the project avoids approximately 70.000 tons of CO2, 400 tons of NOx and 1.200 tons of SO2 per annum.
The project is situated close to the Jepirachi wind farm owned by the MedellinElectricty Utility EEPPM. This is a 19,5 MW wind farm which was commissioned in the first quarter of 2004. At Jepirachi there is a sub-station which connects onto a 110 kV high power line feeding into the national grid of Colombia. The Joutkai wind farm will also feed into the grid via the Jepirachi sub-station, if negotiations with EEPPM to use their sub-station are successful.
There are several projects under consideration, including a 200 MW project in Ipapure.