St Lucia installs test tower for potential wind farm

Castries, St Lucia — The government of Saint Lucia, in collaboration with LUCELEC and WindTex Energy, a US-based company, have erected a test tower that will help assess the potential for the construction of a 12 megawatt wind farm in Dennery — the first utility scale renewable energy project in Saint Lucia.

In order to prepare a bankable proposal to ensure the success of this venture, WindTex Energy must collect wind energy data at the site and at the turbine hub height of 60 metres.

The test tower will be used to collect data on wind speed, wind direction, humidity and barometric pressure for a period of about six months. The data collected will feed in to a model to determine the feasibility of establishing wind turbines that can provide lower cost energy to the population of Saint Lucia.

The test tower is situated a few meters off the highway, in the vicinity of the Bordelais Correctional Facility. Pre-feasibility studies identified this site as the preferred one for wind-generated energy. WindTex Energy has also secured a lease agreement with the landowners for the establishment of the wind farm.

Permanent secretary in the ministry of sustainable development, energy, science and technology, Sylvester Clauzel, said the erection of the test tower is a significant milestone in Saint Lucia`s quest to achieve 35 percent renewable energy independence by the year 2020. He added that this initiative complements the surface exploration for geothermal energy currently taking place in Soufriere, which is seeking to provide a 15 megawatt base-load facility, with a view to expanding to 30 megawatts.

Project manager Daune Heholt said the proposed wind farm is an exciting project that can positively shape the energy landscape of Saint Lucia.

“The project developer, WindTex Energy which is based in Dallas, Texas has extensive experience in all aspects and phases of wind energy development,” he said.

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