In 2010, the NIC with the support from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), submitted a technical assistance request under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas’ (ECPA) Caribbean Initiative. This initiative is managed and implemented by the Organization of American States’ Department of Sustainable Development (OAS/DSD) through grants received from the United States Government. Its goal is to provide short term technical assistance to support the commercialization of government-endorsed renewable energy projects in the Caribbean.
The project titled, ‘Wind Powered Irrigation Project – Jamaica’, engaged the OAS/DSD together with the NIC, MSTEM and other local partners in conducting a wind resource analysis in the Spur Tree area of Manchester. The analysis is to determine the feasibility of installing wind turbines to power the NIC’s deep-well pumps.
The main objective of the project was to collect data for a feasibility assessment regarding wind technology as a cost reducer when providing irrigation water to farmers in St. Elizabeth and surrounding communities.
Outcome and Impact of The Project
The project, to conduct wind data collection, was carried by the NIC, in partnership with the Department of Physics at the University of the West Indies (UWI) from February 2013 to October 2014 at a cost of US$60,000.00.
From the results a technically feasible renewable energy intervention was developed to support the farming sector along the South Coast. Additionally, students at the UWI were able to gain practical expertise through their participation in wind data collection that complied with industry standards.
A wind resource assessment was successfully completed at one site in Spur Tree, Manchester. The average wind speed at the site was found to be 8.86m/s and deemed suitable for development. In addition, the estimated annual energy production ranged from 16,390 – 26,097 MWh/a, being dependent on the configuration of turbines employed. An estimated US$100,000.00 was identified as being necessary to complete the feasibility studies and finalize the project document to attract wind project developers. Plans for funding were to be sought to move the project to implementation.