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Wigton Wind Farm, a hillside haven in Rose Hill Manchester

Published:Sunday | April 28, 2019 | 12:06 AM

Wigton Wind Farm, a hillside haven in Rose Hill, Manchester.
Wigton Wind Farm, a hillside haven in Rose Hill, Manchester.

With its recent IPO and a renewed interest in its operations by the general public, Wigton Wind Farm now occupies comfortable mental space in the mind of the average Jamaican, but before, and certainly after the IPO has come and gone, Wigton will remain a beacon in Rose Hill.

A small farming community in the hills of Manchester, Rose Hill has been home to Wigton since 2004 when the company began operations with the commission of Wigton I, a 20.7 megawatt facility. Since then, Wigton and Rose Hill have fused to create a nucleus of commerce and agriculture from its hilltop base.

Tucked far away from the hustle of the capital of Mandeville, Rose Hill is nestled between the communities of Newport, Plowden, and Cross Keys. The sweet spot gives the community a consistent wind that easily powers the facility and maintains year-round cool temperatures. At roughly 2,700 feet above sea level, Wigton boasts panoramic views of the countryside, south Manchester, and the sea in the distance. Pristine, perfect, unsullied landscapes accessorised by the occasional wind turbine are a vision of clean energy.

Since making Rose Hill its home, the facility has grown to a combined 62.7MW with 44 wind turbines: 23 in Phase One; nine in Phase Two; and 12 in Phase Three. The company’s growth has spilled success to its hometown and has seen Wigton adopting the neighbouring Rose Hill Primary School.


Last year, Wigton spearheaded a $10 million renovation project at the institution. The improvements have since created a more comfortable learning environment for staff and students at the institution. In keeping with its mandate to continuously advance its community, the company has donated two Mazda BT 50 double cab pick-ups to the Cross Keys Police Station. The station, which serves 22 districts in the Manchester Police Division, including Rose Hill, previously operated without a reliable motor vehicle.

Wigton Wind Farm remains an active agricultural farm within its gates and houses plots of several small- and medium-size farmers from the community. Since only the plots housing turbines have been leased, the entire compound provides farmers with an oasis amid concerns of praedial larceny.

Adding to the productivity mix, the company has developed a state-of-the-art renewable energy training lab facility from which it offers training in solar energy, wind power, photovoltaics, bio-energy and energy conservation and measurement to local engineers, other professionals, and tertiary-level engineering students.

With tours available for students at any level, Wigton appears to be a portal to the future of Jamaica’s energy ambitions to date, saving the country an estimated $54 million. Leading the thrust towards renewable energy, while continuing to facilitate and support the existing industries of its rural Jamaica home, Rose Hill has won with Wigton.