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Answers on Wind Power Plans

Wind TurbinesAntigua St. john's - Further information has been released on plans for wind power to become a reality in Antigua & Barbuda.

The following interview was obtained with Errol Bailey and Dave Moses and the C-Net/CLAYCO team.

Recently, "Wind Power coming to Antigua?"  was published as an introduction to C-Net/CLAYCO and their Wind Power Generation Program they are initiating in Antigua & Barbuda.


This is the followup with Errol Bailey and Dave Moses and the C-Net/CLAYCO team to ask them some key questions to better understand this project and its benefits for Antigua & Barbuda. Check out our exchange...

Q1: How were you originally contacted about this need in Antigua & Barbuda ? 

ANSWER: Errol Bailey with C-Net is a citizen of Antigua and travels back and forth to the island often on business and visiting family in the English Harbor area. He became aware of the significant economic and environmental struggle that both the government and people of Antigua have been dealing with for years concerning energy costs, energy production and the economic impact of such. C-Net/Clayco came to Antigua to learn more details of the specific issues and challenges from the government and APUA.

Q2: What was the 'direction' or mandate you were provided from A&B officials ?

ANSWER: It was fairly simply put to us frm A&B officials: "Can you develop a program to help Antigua reduce it's dependance on using fossil fuels to produce energy, hopefully lowering the costs of electricity to consumers and businesses and do it in a way that doesn't cause the government or utility to have to commit to any additional "out of pocket" costs." We said "YES".

Q3: What specifics of your program can you share at this time ?

ANSWER: Our program is broken into (2) phases……. Phase 1 would be to develop a 25 megawatt Wind facility which would be 'on-line' by the end of 2015. Phase 2 would add another 25 MW facility producing power by 1st quarter of 2018.

Q4: At this point, do you know how many wind turbines would be installed ?

ANSWER: Our preliminary engineering indicates that each phase would include (10) 2.5 MW turbines. Final engineering could modify the quantity slightly up or down depending on cost efficiencies and newer technology.

Q5: How would this integrate into APUA's existing power system ?

ANSWER: There is a lot of homework still to coordinate with APUA and the other existing power suppliers. That said, power production with fossil fuels would reduce, but never totally go away. We would need to develop a program that would integrate the renewable output on a "first serve" basis and use the current generating facilities for the balance of daily needs on the island as well as back-up for when the renewable plant is not able to produce enough power due to climatic constraints.

Q6: What are the economic benefits with on a program such as this ? 

ANSWER: C-Net/Clayco's detailed analysis has shown each phase of the renewable plants would save over 500,000 US gallons of diesel fuel, PER MONTH. This fuels savings would cover the cost of our projected Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) and produce an additional US $20,000,000.00 annually by the time Phase 2 is on-line. The money saved could then be used for existing system upgrades/maintenance or other governmental obligations.

Q7: How would local employment benefit from these projects ?

ANSWER: Our goal would be to employ as many local citizens and businesses throughout the construction process along with developing a program in conjunction with APUA to staff the on-going operations and maintenance of the plants, once production begins. In addition, we plan on providing Renewable Power Education programs to assist the local businesses and citizens to better understand how to start implementing renewable energy resources into their everyday lives.

Q8: Do you see any negative environmental implications of these projects ?

ANSWER: No, quite the opposite. Our projects would reduce GHG (Green House Gas) emissions by an equivalent of over 150,000 barrels of oil per year. The lessoning of the oil requirement would also begin to lower the risk of future environmental impact from current oil production and distribution on the island.

Q9: What are the next steps for moving forward on this initiative ?

ANSWER: C-Net/Clayco have provided the administration with a Project Development Agreement for review by the Prime Minister and APUA which would start to establish a bi-partisan group to begin detailing many of the programs discussed and kick off the final engineering required to get the PPA established and project financing put in place. With the upcoming elections on June 12th, we understand that there are "more important" issues for the officials and citizens to decide on other than our "renewable program", but we anticipate getting back with into our discussions again in late June to advance our platform.

Q10: Are there other initiatives that could spring from this program ?

ANSWER: We certainly think so. We believe that as renewable energy systems are established and become more commonplace throughout Antigua & Barbuda and other Eastern Caribbean countries, that there are opportunities to create a "hub" for assembly and maintenance services that could be centered in Antigua & Barbuda and become additional sources for employment and economic benefit in the future.

Q11: Where would these wind turbines be located in Antigua ? 

ANSWER: The exact location still needs some due diligence, but the A&B Government initiated a 3-year wind study a while back and data from that report indicates 3-4 potential areas for best wind generated results. Our team believes that a location in the Crabbs Pennisula area would be best for the first TWO phases of the project.

Q12: Are there any plans to initiate a renewable energy project in Barbuda ? 

ANSWER: We have had some preliminary discussions about how best to serve Barbuda with renewable energy and the program will require more engineering studies to determine the best approach. Barbuda would have some interesting challenges from a location and distribution standpoint, but some type of solar or wind facility would certainly appear to make sense there.

Q13: Does your company also do solar projects, considering the sun is another limitless energy source here in Antigua and Barbuda ?

ANSWER: Absolutely , C-Net/Clayco would evaluate all types of systems with our engineering partners and try and arrive at the most cost-effective solution considering all aspects of the project and then determine which system or combination of systems will deliver the best results to the citizens in the shortest timeframe.

Q14: Approximately how many homes could be served through these first two phases of projects ?

ANSWER: We haven't analyzed this exact usage information for residences on the island, but if we assume that the average household in Antigua uses around 600-700 kWh/month or approximately 7800 kWh per year (the US is approx. 11-12,000 kWh per year/household), then by the time our second phase plant would be in production (first quarter 2018) renewable energy could be powering over 23,000 homes.

Q15: Thanks for much for this information. If A&B residents and community builders have more questions to ask about this program, could they contact C-Net/CLAYCO directly with such questions?

ANSWER: Please do. Errol Bailey of C-Net can be emailed here. Dave Moses Executive VP of CLAYCO can be emailed here.    

 

Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

 

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16 Comments In This Article   

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RobbyB

#16 Robby Breadner » 2014-06-09 11:46

Wind and solar are a great combination of alternative sources. They complement each other very well. It still surprises me that people see them as ugly considering how ugly fossil fuel generation is: oil spills, storage, toxic land etc... The training is not doable online. This is a perfect opportunity for 21st tech training to come to Antigua. Once it takes hold, it can be incorporated into the Antigua post-secondary curriculum and could well become a hub for other islands' students to arrive for training.
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Robby Breadner

@ John French II

#15 Skyewill » 2014-06-09 03:25

Always staying ahead of the curve. Checking, checking and checking. Did I not say: You got to keep your eye on Codrington? What you think I am joking? There will be tons of issues. Some will be confiscation of intellectual properties, competing against the oligarchs will be a real beach and me want piece "arnda de table". Keep in mind that land is not an issue but getting a PPA will be.
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Skyewill

@ confused

#14 Skyewill » 2014-06-09 03:09

Ask Aruba they will be off oil based fuels by 2020. A mix of wind, solar and LED would be the best cost savings.
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Skyewill

Towards The Antigua & Barbuda Electrical Energy Generation Revolution! PT4

#13 John French II » 2014-06-08 22:46

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! Quote:
Hence the turbines & solar farms can be located away from the population centre; the electricity produced can be transmitted to the centres & the periphery of Codrington without interfering with the tranquil environment that Barbudans enjoy.
The ABLP intends to enter an agreement directly with the Chinese for credits towards a renewable energy plant to replace the failed Wadadli Power Plant that was negotiated by the UPP for US$52.5 Million. This arrangement will not be done through any third parties such as the German company with which the UPP had a deal.
Wind Power.
Wind power technology has also been refined & modernised making it possible for its introduction in A&B as a supplement to the delivery of energy by traditional fossil fuels & solar power. The ABLP intends to integrate all three sources of energy to bring down the cost of electricity for homes, businesses, hotels, and manufacturing. Timelines:
Within 120 Days. ... ensure that APUA issues a transparent Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable energy by wind & photovoltaic (solar). The RFP will target transitioning 10% of the total energy generated for A&B by July 2016.
Within 150 Days. Introduce a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) for distributed renewable generators including Roof-top Solar and small wind turbines. ... By 2019 reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour by 15% when compared to the present cost of electricity... ABLP
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John French II

Towards The Antigua & Barbuda Electrical Energy Generation Revolution! PT3

#12 John French II » 2014-06-08 22:38

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! Hopefully will not attempt any commentary on the ABLP & UPP Manifestos & Charters. Quote:
Wind Turbine Energy: Transforming and revolutionizing the energy sector by installing a wind farm to generate electricity by wind turbines, and a bank of Solar Voltaic Cells to transform sunlight into electricity. Barbuda will become the only significant island community that derives all its required energy from renewable environmentally friendly methods. Discussions have already begun to secure Cuba’s technical assistance for this project. UPP 2009 Manifesto.
and today Quote:
Barbuda. Installation of a wind farm for electricity generation. Transform sunlight into electricity by installing a bank Solar Voltaic, making Barbuda the only significant community to derive al its energy from environmentally friendly methods. Accelerate the establishment of a joint Consultative Committee headed by the Prime Minister to supervise and monitor. UPP 2014 Manifesto.
Sincerely hope that all was captured. If not would appreciate someone providing. With the advance of years, the eyes have difficulty focussing on the fine print. Quote:
Elements of The ABLP Plan For Energy. Beginning In Barbuda.
The ABLP will begin its renewable energy project in Barbuda. Its population is largely concentrated in Codrington or within a four mile radius, leaving more than 58 square miles largely uninhabited.
Continued.
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John French II

Towards The Antigua & Barbuda Electrical Energy Generation Revolution! PT2

#11 John French II » 2014-06-08 22:27

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! Pipes & AJ: Wind Harvesting is being carried out in Aruba, Curacao, Cuba, The Dominican Republic with a very ambitious program, Guadeloupe some 30 miles from A&B, Jamaica, and in the North Sea off Denmark one of the most inhospitable areas in the North Atlantic where stormy weather and the extreme saltiness of the air present particular challenges.
There is one billion dollars available to Caribbean Countries should they decide to seriously engage with Renewable & Green Energy.
That both ABLP and UPP are Intent on some form of wind harvesting is to be encouraged. That ABLP has a focus on Barbuda is creative and action oriented. This mere voice in the wilderness would suggest that this be a Pilot Project before commencing the Antigua Initiative. UPP’s direction is Barbuda. Seems like they have shelved The NEP given the WPP & APC Fiascos and either the demise or divestment of APUA
This commenter has encouraged closer political and economic ties with Montserrat. That country is has the potential to generate electricity from thermal energy. The population on Montserrat will not grow significantly in the future. It lies again some 30 miles off our shores. If we are visionary and creative, there is a sure source to tap not only for electricity but also for Politics, Economics, Trade, Social Cultural & Technology.
What follows next is provided for those who wish to know where the Parties are on Green Energy.
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John French II

RE: Answers on Wind Power Plans

#10 tenman » 2014-06-08 22:22

Windpower is the best alternative. Solar is still too expensive. I really don't see the courts forcing to government to honor an agreement which would put them in a bad financial position. Yes apc would need to be compensated. in addition we seem to forget that the Antigua & Barbuda public has equity in those apc controlled plant since it'd it's a boot arrangement.
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tenman

Towards The Antigua & Barbuda Electrical Energy Generation Revolution!

#9 John French II » 2014-06-08 22:21

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! The Discourse at The Amofah Market at the Bridge was subdued. Some rested, visited their churches, mosques, Nyahbingi houses, & synagogues, Shiva & Buddhist Temples. Some like mi gud fren Dessalines went swimming & fishing. Some joined the Motorcade. The Coromantees & Maroons in the Sherkerly Mountains stood guard in their farms. The Gruff Voice Chef saw the handwriting on the wall when not even the limers should up for his Urli street party. Some staunch monarchists wended their way to hear King George deliver the Ten Land Marks OF Progress For Pathway To The New Society as written in the UPP Gospel.
Skyewill: Due Diligence is Required on C-Net & CLAYCO.
Wada: Agree with your emphasis on Training & Continuous Education. If both ABLP & UPP are serious, this should be a must for school leavers and other interested technicians.
The Independent & NIMBY: ABLP Manifesto lays out the Pathway, Structure and Timelines. The Investors now have the framework and should be prepared when the RFP is released. Everyone is encouraged to revisit the APC agreement with GoAB.
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John French II

Ugly

#8 confused » 2014-06-08 20:36

Has anyone on Antigua actually seen one of these wind turbines? They are over 100 feet high and have huge blades. The picture above is taken from a distance and only shows the top portion. Why would an island tourist destination want to provide these ugly things as the first vision of the country when tourists are flying? Solar is a much better option.
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confused

@AJ and Pipes

#7 NIMBY » 2014-06-08 17:50

Your concerns though valid should not deter the research and progression of wind energy. We should not have a mindset of solar versus wind, but should embrace all technologies. I am of the view that an eclectic mix of re technologies is what Antigua and Barbuda's future should be. We have an excellent wind resource for commercial wind power generation on land. Solar as well. The two can become of future if only we had the political will. Wind turbines can be built to withstand certain extraordinary wind regimes and the type of turbine chosen can certainly reduce the risk of damage due to axial forces caused by wind gusts. As far as aesthetics are concerned, I do believe that a revitalised economy that can attract small to medium manufacture as well as ecotourism is a well worth trade off. Your concerns are valid and should be explored carefully so that we obtain the best units that fit our climate.
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NIMBY

This is a very good follow-up

#6 AJ » 2014-06-08 16:48

But as I commented before, we still need to address the issue from the angle of our nation's susceptibility to the impact of hurricanes. I don't see anyone making any mention of this "elephant in the room". We can't just put any old thing up.
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AJ

Solar Power

#5 pipes » 2014-06-08 15:42

Solar power seems like the better option for Antigua, as windmills can become an eyesore to Antigua's scenic landscape. We also rarely have enough wind on island, ONLY out at sea. Up and down weather conditions make this very iffy, and these turbines have had limited success and failure in many other parts of the world. Kudos to these guys for their interest in Antigua, I wish them lots of success in transforming our energy product.
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pipes

Finally

#4 NIMBY » 2014-06-08 15:32

I too wish these investors well. However the most important hurdle has not yet been discussed and that is the APC situation. They have won an appeal in the courts and damages could be such that they must play a vital role to supply power to the grid. The addition of wind power has three major hurdles. Firstly the energy consumed would be a negative load in the grid meaning they will compete directly with APC to supply energy. Secondly depending on the existing contract between APC and the government, APUA may still have to pay APC if they do not purchase the contractually obligated annual amount, therefore making it difficult for consumers to reap the benefits of lower utility bills. Thirdly, one would have to consider siting these turbines somewhere other than crabbs peninsula because of grid stability issues. The increased capital cost due to infrastructural development may mean that utility rates may marginally decrease at best. It's a start in the right direction though.
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NIMBY

I wish you the best of luck

#3 The independent » 2014-06-08 13:02

I wish these investors the best of luck. The biggest challenge for any investor in large scale renewable energy projects in Antigua is not technical. Most RE technologies are now well developed and cost competitive with diesel generation. There is no disputing that. The challenge for these investores will be finding a willing and competent partner in APUA. Negotiating a power purchase agreement with APUA and navigating grid interconnection issues are likely to be early hurdles. Even with a power purchase agreement in hand and a functioning wind farm exporting power to the APUA grid, getting paid is likely to be the biggest challenge. Just ask WIOC, APC and Sembcorp; all suppliers to APUA who struggle with getting paid. If these investors are able to make their business case that work whether or not they get paid by APUA, then thy will do well.
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The independent

Training/Education

#2 wada » 2014-06-08 11:48

If we are serious about alternative energy, may I suggest interested persons commence courses or online training for these types of systems. It is all well that we can say locals will be involved, or get jobs but if we do not educate/train ourselves we will once again be left behind. Life is a bull to be taken by the horns, not to be taken from behind by the horns.
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wada

Great stuff Errol and Dave

#1 Skyewill » 2014-06-08 05:38

Errol Welcome home brother. And Welcome Dave and CLAYCO. Folks CLAYCO is a great company with REAL experience in this field. The idea of Wind power is probably the best option for renewable energy and Antigua to start off with. Master Codrington knew this when he built the 2 wind mills at Betty's Hope. You got to keep your eye on Codrington. This was the direction we should have went with instead of WPP, a fossil fuel burning piece of junk with 5 of the 6 engines DEAD on ARRIVAL. Thank you Errol for keeping us in your heart. NUFF RESPECT!
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Skyewill

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