Wind energy cuts Jamaica’s energy cost by $26 million

Jamaica has saved up to $26 million in energy costs since the 38.7 MW Wigton wind farm started operations in 2004, the government said Tuesday.

The facility has also allowed Jamaica to avert more than 562,000 tons in carbon-dioxide emissions.

In January, Spanish multinational Gamesa signed a $40 million contract to supply 12 additional wind turbines for Wigton to add capacity of 24 MW.

Once the new construction is completed, Wigton is expected to produce 62.7 MW and some 31,500 households will benefit from the project.

At present, renewable energy accounts for roughly 9 percent of Jamaica’s electricity mix. The National Energy Plan for 2009-2030 calls for that proportion to rise to 12.5 percent this year and to 20 percent by 2030.

Wigton, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, is the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean, according to the government.