Castries, May 25, 2016 – Close to one hundred (100) people attended the Town Hall Meeting in Dennery to discuss the proposed 12 megawatt (MW) wind farm to be located near the Bordelais Correctional Facility. The wind farm is a joint project of St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) and Windtex Energy, a wind developer from the US.
The meeting received presentations from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, LUCELEC and Windtex Energy on the purpose, current status and implementation schedule for the wind farm.
The 12MW wind farm will be the first of its kind in Saint Lucia. It will consist of four (4) turbines erected on the ridge near the Bordelais Correctional Facility. At full capacity, it will generate enough energy to power approximately 19, 475 homes. Its output will be equivalent to the production power of one of LUCELEC’s ten diesel engines. The wind farm is projected to reduce the amount of fuel purchased by the company by about ten percent (10%).
The project was officially launched in April 2015 with a test tower and equipment used to record wind speeds and direction to assist in the design of the wind farm. To date, a number of studies (including geotechnical and environmental impact) have been completed, paving the way for construction on the project to begin in December of this year, once the appropriate approvals have been secured.
Dennery residents were also briefed on job opportunities the project would provide for which an employment job fair will be held to fill a number of positions including truckers, laborers, security, accountants, engineers and surveyors. A number of services like housing, catering and rental cars will also be sourced from the surrounding area. Beyond the construction period job opportunities for maintenance of the wind farm would be available, for which training would be provided.
A healthy discussion followed the presentations with residents expressing interest in training and jobs as well as the impact the wind farm will have on the price they currently pay for electricity.
The wind farm project is expected to be completed in September 2017.