Wind Energy Country Analyses for the Caribbean
Overview - Wind Energy Potential
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed an initial assessment. The main goal of the study was to map the wind resources in all regions of the Dominican Republic and to compile the results in a wind atlas. The wind resource in the Dominican Republic is strongly dependent on elevation and proximity to the coastline. In general, the wind resource is best on hilltops, ridge crests, and coastal locations that have excellent exposure to the prevailing winds from the east. The extreme southwestern and northwestern regions of the country are estimated to have the greatest number of areas with good-to-excellent wind resources for utility-scale applications, because the upper-air winds and ocean winds are greatest in these regions. The wind mapping results show many areas of good to excellent wind resource for utility-scale applications or excellent wind resource for village power applications. The best wind resources are found in the southwestern provinces of Pedernales and Barahona and the northwestern provinces of Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi. Significant areas of good-to-excellent wind resource can be found in many other locations, such as well-exposed hilltops and ridge crests of the Samana Peninsula and other near-coastal locations throughout the Dominican Republic and the major mountain ranges including Cordillera Septentrional, Cordillera Oriental, Cordillera Central, and Sierra Neiba. The mapping results show many additional areas of moderate wind resource for utility-scale applications or good wind resource for village power applications, including many east-facing coastal locations along the eastern and northern coasts of the Dominican Republic. About 1 500 km² of land has been estimated to exist with good-to-excellent wind resource potential. These wind corridor regions represent less than 3 % of the total land area (48,442 km²) of the Dominican Republic. Using conservative assumptions of about 7 megawatts (MW) per km², this land could potentially support more than 10 000 MW of installed capacity and deliver over 24 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Considering only these areas of good-to-excellent wind resource, there are 20 provinces in the Dominican Republic with at least 100 MW of wind potential and 3 provinces with at least 1 000 MW of wind potential.
If the additional areas with moderate wind resource potential (or good for rural power applications) are considered, the estimated area increases to more than 4 400 km²,or slightly more than 9 % of the entire Dominican Republic. This wind corridor regions could potentially support more than 30 000 MW of installed capacity and deliver over 60 billion kWh per year. There are 12 provinces with at least 1 000 MW of wind potential, and all except for tree provinces have at least 100 MW of wind potential. However, additional studies are required to more accurately assess the wind power potential, considering factors such as the existing transmission grid and accessibility.
The Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd (BL&P) has a project to introduce wind energy into the electricity mix and is still awaiting a decision on its application to the Town & Country Development Planning Office to construct a 10 MW wind farm at Lamberts, St. Lucy (where in the beginning of the 1980’s an experimental wind turbine was built).
The project is being developed with the assistance of Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP) of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). Indeed, the administrative processes in the Town & Country Development Planning Office (in this case, the environmental impact assessment was delivered in the beginning of 2007) may be an obstacle for investors, since projects may be delayed or halted completely.
The first wind turbine in Dominica was installed in 2008. It is a class I Norwin (225 kW) and is located in the Rosalia Nature Resort with the aim to offset the high electricity costs from the Dominica Electricity Services Ltd. (DOMLEC). It is expected that the installation generates 596 GWh of electricity annually. Since 2006 DOMLEC has been in the process of looking for locations and gathering anemometric data, which should enable implementation of small wind farms in the capacity range of 5 to 8 MW.
Since 2003 GTZ/CREDP has been developing a series of activities on wind energy on the island. Between 2003 and 2004 a review of the existing wind site studies has been carried out. In 2004, GTZ conducted a wind energy assessment for Government. This study covered nine sites on the southeast coast and five sites in the northeast The reports stated that the northeast coasts of Dominica present the best opportunities for large scale development of wind energy. The report also stated, however, that the weakness of the electricity distribution system did not currently allow for large injections of power along the east and northeast coasts. GTZ/CERDP has also invested in capacity building, by sponsoring the participation of key persons in wind energy events in Germany and assisted DOMLEC in its site identification and wind measurement activities.
According to the Comisión Nacional de Energía (CNE), the potential for grid connected wind power is 10 000 MW, plus approx. 30 000 MW offgrid for self consumption.
Grenada Electricity Services Ltd.(GRENLEC) is currently working on land control and enhancing the wind resource assessment programme, which includes five potential wind sites on Grenada. On Carriacou, the company is analyzing data and approaching the government for potential wind farm sites on Crown Land. The goal is to install a 1 MW system. Similar work is underway for Petite Martinique. During 2008 GRENLEC continued negotiations with two land owners to finalize the lease of sites which are considered suitable to install two wind farms. Negotiations are still in progress for the long term lease of both sites. Meanwhile, the owners have given GRENLEC permission to install wind loggers and commence measurements. According to the company the data looks promising with wind speed at both sites averaging approximately 7.6 m/s. In March 2007 the Paradise Bay Resort installed an 80 kW wind turbine with an expected annual yield of 180 000 kWh. It is the first utility-grade wind turbine installed in Caricom. The electrical surplus will be sold to GRENLEC, when connected to the grid.
The expansion plans of Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) for 2009 included the acquisition of land in the south eastern part of the island and the compilation of wind data for the development of a 12 MW wind farm. In the beginning of 2009 LUCELEC has obtained preliminary access to this property, after many years of negotiations. Data collection activities for this specific region were planned to start in the third quarter of 2009.
St.Vincent and the Grenadines
In 2005 a study with support from GTZ to identify the wind potential in St Vincent analysed several sites: Brighton, Greggs and Ribish Point, which revealed to be the most promising. In June 2008, the Government agreed to build a 6 to 8 MW wind farm and by the end of the year the decision was to install it at Ribishi Point, southern St. Vincent Island. The wind park is expected to produce 12 410 MWh per year at an average wind speed of 8.4 m/s, at 55m height. The estimated investment cost of the project is about 4.9 million € and the estimated specific generation cost is 0.05 €/kWh.
Existing Wind Energy Projects and Project Pipeline
A complete overview of on-going and planned wind energy projects (2011) in the Caribbean due to the Caribbean Renewable Energy Devlopment Programm (CREDP).
Taken from the summary of the CARWEI study:
"This evaluation of wind energy projects in the Caribbean covered 12 projects in 11 CARICOM countries and the three non-CARICOM countries Aruba,Curaçao and Bonaire, due to their strong involvement in wind power."
For detailed information see: credp.org
In July 2009 the CNE announced the collaboration between Dominican Republic and the United Arab Emirates for the construction of 600 MW of wind power on the island (together in a project that includes the construction of a 600 MW natural gas power plant). It is expected that 500 million € is to be invested. Six new wind parks are planned to be installed: two in Puerto Plata, two in Montecristi and two in Azua. Wind turbines currently operating in the country are located only at auto producer plants, attending their own demands.44 Nevertheless, a total of 33 projects have their concession granted in recent years, representing a total of 1 905 MW to be installed in the country. The following table shows all wind projects with concessions in the country.
- Wind Energy Map (country-specific wind energy facts)
- Wind Portal on energypedia
- Barriers to the Development of Renewable Energy Technologies in the Caribbean
- The contents of this article have been prepared by ECOFYS Germany GmbH and have been edited by Rolf Posorski und Daniel Werner for the study of the German International Cooperation (GIZ 2009): "Energy-policy Framework Conditions for Electricity Markets and Renewable Energies". Originally the contents have been published as: GTZ (2009) Energy-policy Framework ConditionsfckLRfor Electricity Markets and RenewablefckLREnergies - 16 country analysis, Eschborn
- Elliott D., Schwartz M., George R., Haymes S., Heimiller D., Scott G. (2001) Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the Dominican Republic, retrieved 28.7.2011 []
- Wind Power Classification used by the NREL study: For utilities: moderate – 6.1 to 7.0 m/s; good – 7.0 to 7.7 m/s; excellent – 7.7 to 10.5 m/s For rural applications: moderate – 4.9 to 6.1 m/s; good – 6.1 to 7.0 m/s; excellent – 7.0 to 10.5 m/s
- Scheutzlich T. M., Experiences with Investments in Renewable Energy Projects in the Caribbean Region - Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP – GTZ), November 2007