Jamaica wind farm makes $210 million profit

Based on a recent national Wind Resource Assessment study, Wigton has identified four locations suitable for wind energy development in addition to its existing operations.

The sites are Winchester at the foot of the John Crow Mountains in St. Thomas, Kemps Hill in Clarendon and Rose Hill and Top Lincoln in Manchester.

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell said that the “significant profit of just over J$210 million earned by  state owned Wigton Wind Farm for 2013/14 fiscal year was  big boost for potential investors in renewables and a vote of confidence for the country’s energy diversification programme.

According to the recently released audited financial statements prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wigton Windfarm Limited recorded revenues of J$1.679 billion for the 2013-14 fiscal year representing a 27% increase when compared with the previous fiscal year. For the similar period, expenses increased to J$1.469 billion recorded in fiscal 2013/14 from the J$1.393 billion recorded in fiscal 2012/13, an increase of 5%. However net profits before tax for the 2013/14 fiscal year was J$210 million which represents an upturn from the previous year when the company recorded a loss of J$68 million.

Throughout the year, Wigton experienced high plant availability at both generating facilities.  Wigton Two operated at an availability rate of 97.2% resulting in 63,735,201 kWh being sold to the national grid. At the same time, Wigton One experienced 89.6% availability and sold 56,429,249.00 kWh to the grid.

Wigton supplied a total of 120 GWh to the JPSCo grid with Wigton Phase One exceeding its budgeted kWh production of 52,154,474.18 by 4,274,774.82 with an actual production of 56,429,249.00 kWh. On the other hand, Wighton Phase Two exceeded its production target by18, 340,621.55, of 45,394,579.45 to record production of 63,735,201.00. Total production of the combined operations was120, 164,450.00

Wigton’s operations continue to have a positive impact on the country’s economy and environment as the clean energy generated reduces the country’s carbon footprint and lessens the consumption of imported fuel whereby lowering the national oil bill. In 2013/14 approximately 93,745 tonnes of carbon dioxide were avoided.

In addition, oil consumption was reduced by 70,687 barrels which resulted in savings of US$7 million on the country’s energy bill.

The company began implementing plans to expand its wind farm with an additional 24 MW wind energy plant.

The expansion will be financed with 20% equity and the balance via a loan from the PetroCaribe Development Fund.  The expansion project will provide approximately 125 temporary jobs during its construction phase and three (3) additional engineers will be permanently employed after commissioning.