Go-ahead has been given for six new wind turbines to be erected on St Helena – with sites for more being considered on other parts of the island.
St Helena Government says the existing turbines on Deadwood Plain help keep down the extremely high cost of electricity, which is subsidised at a cost of about £1.5 million a year. Even so, at up to 36 pence a unit, the island rates are thought to be among the highest in the world.
Members of the island’s planning board were briefed about the possible new turbines when deciding whether to allow six extra turbines at Deadwood Plain.
They approved the six, which are to be the same type as those already there.
A second substation will be built to regulate the supply of electricity sent via underground cables to the power station in Rupert’s Valley.
Read Vince Thompson’s report in this Friday’s St Helena Independent
Board members heard investigations were under way to choose sites for more turbines elsewhere on the island, but there was not enough information yet to say what sites might be suitable.
In March, St Helena Government said that the existing turbines had helped save about £250,000 in diesel costs. Without the turbines, it said, electricity would cost an extra 3.3p per unit.
Prices went up from 1 April 2012.
(This story has been updated to correct a statement that further turbines would bring prices down. Though this may be true, its inclusion was an error of interpretation).
Why is nobody using wave power there? An island in the middle of the ocean should have some waves.
– Amy DuPrez, via Facebook
Hydro-thermal may be an option too, and is much less unsightly than wave machines or turbines
– Michael Richards, via Facebook
Electricity tariffs – St Helena Government press release