by Guy Gatien
Wind Energy Solutions (WES) has announced that it has received an order from the Government of St Helena for delivery and installation of six additional WES80 Hybrid turbines.
With the installation of the six new turbines St Helena will double its existing wind energy capacity. The six new WES turbines plus the wind turbines already installed on St Helena will provide a total of 20% of the energy needs of the island. With this much production, we will have to wait and see if the Saints get a break on electric costs, or…
The St Helena Government in June of 2012 said 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.
In California near where I live is the earliest wind farm’s in the United States. The Altamont Pass Wind Farm is still the largest concentration of wind turbines in the world, with a capacity of 576 megawatts (MW), producing about 125 MW on average and 1.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) yearly. It contains 4930 turbines. One megawatt typically powers about 750 US homes. All this capacity and technology comes with a high non-monetary cost as well. We will look into those costs next time the wind blows by.