Government has set aside just over $3 million to conduct a feasibility study on the use of wind generated electricity for pumping irrigation water in the Pedro Plains area of St. Elizabeth.
The sum, for the Wind Powered Irrigation Feasibility Assessment project, is set out in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
During the fiscal year, it is anticipated that the feasibility assessment will be undertaken in the area using wind data logger; and the wind pattern will be observed for 12 months.
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) with funding by the Organization of American States (OAS). Originally scheduled for August 2011 to July 2013, the time frame has been extended.
Physical achievements to date include the establishment of a Cooperation Agreement between the OAS and MSTEM and an agreement and Memorandum of Understanding between the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) and Digicel Jamaica Limited, University of the West Indies and Wigton Windfarm Limited.
The project was initially envisaged to evaluate the wind technology best suited for such power need and load; evaluate the technical solutions for linking the wind power grid; provide preliminary engineering design and cost estimates for a wind solution; evaluate wheeling as an alternative to sales of the electricity under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA); and develop models for replication of the wind solution to other projects.
By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter