In collaboration with LUCELEC and WindTex Energy, a US-based company, the government of Saint Lucia have erected a test tower that will help assess the potential for the construction of a 12 megawatt wind farm in Dennery, Saint Lucia’s first utility scale renewable energy project. For the project, WindTex Energy is expected to collect wind energy data that is collected at the site and at the turbine hub height of 60 metres. The information collected will then be included in the preparation of a bankable proposal to ensure the success of the venture.
The data collected at the tower will include wind speed, wind direction, humidity and barometric pressure. This will occur everyday for a period of about six months. It will also feed in to a model to determine the feasibility of establishing wind turbines that can provide energy for a lower cost to the population of Saint Lucia. Just a few meters off the highway, the test tower is located in the vicinity of the Bordelais Correctional Facility. According to pre-feasibility studies, this site is a more preferred one for wind-generating energy. The land for the establishment of the wind farm was also leased from the landowners by WindTex Energy via a secured agreement.
Permanent secretary in the ministry of sustainable development, energy, science and technology, Sylvester Clauzel, shared that the erection of the test tower is a significant milestone in Saint Lucia’s quest to achieve 35% renewable energy independence by the year 2020. He added that this initiative complements the surface exploration for geothermal energy which is currently taking place in Soufriere. This project is seeking to provide a 15 megawatt base-load facility, with a view to expanding to 30 megawatts.
The manager of the wind project, 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.