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  • Expansion of the Wigton Windfarm (Wigton lll) in Manchester is expected to cut oil imports by 37, 100 barrels per year, and achieve annual savings of more than $200 million.
  • Minister Paulwell, in noting the importance of the project, said the country’s US$2 billion per year oil bill is far too high.
  • The expansion will bring Wigton’s total capacity to 62.7 megawatts, which will increase renewable energy input to the national grid by more than two per cent.

Expansion of the Wigton Windfarm (Wigton lll) in Manchester is expected to cut oil imports by 37, 100 barrels per year, and achieve annual savings of more than $200 million.
Some 31, 500 households will benefit from the US$45 million project, on which work will start in April. The facility is slated to be operational in early 2016, with 125 jobs to be created during the construction phase.

At the ground breaking ceremony for the 24-megawatt expansion plant on Friday (Feb. 20), Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said the Wigton project, while providing clean energy, is also adding revenue to the economy.

“This is a profitable Government venture. This year, we are earning $500 million from the operations here at Wigton,” he said, noting that the earnings were for the first nine months of the financial year.

He said the expansion project is expected to grow earnings from the trade of carbon credits to heavily industrialised countries.

In basic carbon credit trading, countries whose carbon emissions fall below a set allowance can sell the difference, in the form of credits, to other countries that exceed their limits.

The project will also bolster the Government’s target of 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 48,000 tonnes.

Minister Paulwell, in noting the importance of the project, said the country’s US$2 billion per year oil bill is far too high.

“This is unsustainable; the price of electricity is very high, and we are doing no good to the environment, so our first mission is to diversify. We have to move away from this single source of diesel and heavy fuel oil, and to transition into other sources, featuring renewables,” he said.

Wigton lll will be situated on lands near the existing 38.7 megawatt wind farm complex in Rose Hill. Spanish firm Gamesa will undertake the expansion works, which will consist of the installation of 12 G80-2.0 megawatt wind turbines, a new substation, and a 9.6 kilometer transmission line to the Jamaica Public Service’s (JPS) Spur Tree substation.
The Petro Caribe Development Fund is providing 80 per cent of financing for Wigton lll, with the remaining 20 per cent to come from Wigton equity.

The expansion will bring Wigton’s total capacity to 62.7 megawatts, which will increase renewable energy input to the national grid by more than two per cent.
Wigton l opened in 2004 and was expanded in 2010 to Wigton 11.

Wigton is the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. In its 10 years of operation, the company has saved the country close to $3 billion by reducing oil consumption by close to 406,000 barrels.