JIS News

Wigton Windfarm Limited (Wigton) has been awarded the Jamaica Institution of Engineers’ (JIE) Engineering Project of the Year Award for its 18 megawatts (MW) wind farm expansion project, Wigton Phase Two.

The project, in which US$47.5 million was invested, involved among other things, the installation of nine (9) 2MW wind turbines, upgrading of an existing 69 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and the construction of a new substation, 2 km of new access roadways and a resource centre dedicated to renewable energy training and technology transfer.

Commenting on the achievement, General Manager of Wigton, Earl Barrett stated that Wigton was honoured to have received the award and believes it is a testament to the importance of the project to national development and the high standard achieved during its planning and execution.

“Wigton has always strived to be world class in all of its undertakings and sees this award as an additional motivator to continue this drive.The award is indicative of the smooth work relations achieved, the varied engineering disciplines utilized, the excellent safety record and the internal capacity we have built”, he explained.

Wigton Phase Two is projected to generate 47,304 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually, consequently reducing Jamaica’s oil imports by 27,826 barrels of oil per year. This could translate into foreign exchange savings of US$ 2,782,600 per year at a rate of US$100 per barrel of oil. Additionally, the operation of this 18 MW wind farm will avoid approximately 35,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions which bodes well for the environment and Jamaica’s efforts to address Climate Change.

Meanwhile, in the citation that was presented to Wigton at the JIE’s recently hosted Awards Banquet, the engineering body stated that from an engineering perspective, Wigton Phase Two was “planned and executed with notable efficiency, addressing several significant challenges of logistics and engineering design throughout”.

Wigton Phase Two, which was completed on schedule and within budget, was selected over the Port Authority of Jamaica’s Falmouth Cruise Ship Terminal and the Urban Development Corporation’s Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Awarded annually by the JIE, the Engineering Project of the Year Award recognizes the highest caliber of projects undertaken in Jamaica in the engineering industry. It is seen by many industry professionals to be the most prestigious and coveted engineering award in Jamaica. Recent winners include Caribbean Cement Company’s Kiln 5 Project and Tank Weld Metals’ Port Rio Bueno. 

Wigton Windfarm Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). It presently owns and operates a 38.7 MW wind farm complex in Manchester which represents 4.5% of generating capacity installed on the national grid and 2.6% of electricity generation. The complex consists of the 20.7 MW Wigton Phase One which was awarded the JIE’s Engineering Project of the Year Award in 2004 and the 18 MW Wigton Phase Two which was 100% debt financed through the PetroCaribe Development Fund. 

During the period April-August 2011, Wigton generated 46,329,521 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, resulting in Jamaica saving an estimated J$229 million on oil importation and avoiding the emission of 38,639 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. 


By Don Dobson, 855 – 1356,      

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