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Wigton Pase III to be commissioned February

Published:Wednesday | December 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
ContributedMinister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell (second right) and Chairman of Wigton Wind farm Limited Ian Kelly (right) interacting with construction worker Bridgette Halcolm during a recent tour of the Wigton III construction site in Rose Hill, Manchester.

Wigton Wind farm Limited is on track to meet its February 2016 deadline for the commissioning of an additional 24 megawatts at its phase three expansion project in Rose Hill, Manchester.

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) subsidiary said the project is also to be completed within the budgeted US$45 million.

The project is being implemented by Spanish wind energy company, Gamesa under a turnkey contract.

Work on the project began in April with 12 wind turbines, each with a 2.0-megawatt output, already installed at the wind farm complex.

In addition, a new 7.5-kilometre transmission line, 24- megawatt substation and control building have been put in place.

The focus is now on testing the installed equipment and finalising communications with the grid in preparation for the commissioning, slated for the latter part of February 2016, the PCJ said.

With projected output of 63,072 megawatts per hour annually, it is anticipated that Wigton III will reduce national oil consumption by more than 37,100 barrels per year.

The plant is expected to further increase renewable energy input to the national grid by more than two per cent, in keeping with the targets outlined in the National Energy Policy, which aims to have 20 per cent of Jamaica's energy supply generated from renewable sources by 2030.

Some 45 jobs and three permanent engineering positions have been created during the construction.

The engineering positions have already been filled, PCJ said, in anticipation of the training phase which will start once the project is commissioned.

"Thereafter, the suppliers of the equipment will maintain the new facility's operations for the ensuing two-year warranty period, after which Wigton will assume full responsibility for the running of the wind farm," it said.

Wigton Wind farm was launched in 2004 with a 20.7- megawatt generating facility. It was then expanded by 18 megawatts in 2010, and when Wigton Phase III is added, the company would have increased its total generating capacity to 62.7 megawatts.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com