Wind power in Tunisia

The town, of which the sole source of income stems from its agricultural lands, would definitely benefit from being integrated into new development projects, along with other long-time marginalized regions.

The wind energy project involves the implementation of a park that would generate between 60 and 120 Megawats, and is intended to supply energy-consuming industries established in the region, such as concrete plants for instance.

Ulrich Laumanns, Project Manager for Renewable Energies And Energetic Efficiency at the German Agency of International Cooperation (GIZ), was recently in Tunis for a workshop on renewable energies, during which he indicated that GIZ has just completed the feasibility study for the wind farm. The preliminary review shows that such capacity must be equal or higher than Sidi Daoud’s wind farm, in the north-east of Tunisia, in the Cap Bon region.

The wind farm, which is exploited by the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG), has a production capacity of 55 Megawats. Theoretically, the Thala wind farm should include a minimum of around 30 wind turbines with a unit capacity of 2 Megawats. Other studies are required to determine the choice of equipment to be installed.

The study also reveals that wind power could allow firms higher competitiveness, as they provide an alternative to STEG-supplied electricity. Laumanns affirms that if certain equipments will have to be imported, such as wind turbines and wind power mills, several components can however be supplied by local operators. In fact, Sidi Daoud’s wind farm’s masts were made by a Tunisian company, and local businesses had taken charge of electric inter-connection operations and of the civil engineering.

The Thala windmill farm represents a great opportunity for specialized Tunisian firms to develop and promote their expertise, through partnerships with important international companies in the field of renewable energies. The project is expected to kick-start mid-2013, once the complementary studies are complete.

Thala and Kasserine, best known for being home to the Tunisian Revolution which shook the country earlier this year, might thus soon become known for their wind mills, and be the setting to a positive wind of change for Tunisia’s interior regions.