The fate of one effort to establish a wind power plant in Antigua has been called into question in the light of statements made by Minister of Works Wilmoth Daniel last week.
For some time, Caribbean Windpower has been lobbying the government for permission to set up a wind power plant and the company’s Managing Director Bob Tillotson expressed surprise at Minister Daniel’s statement that those discussions had “come to nought.
“It did come to fruition with the previous board of APUA. It was an approved project,” Tillotson told the SUN yesterday. “We were just waiting for the Cabinet to give the necessary approvals and that’s the last we heard.”
He indicated that while, to the best of his knowledge, Cabinet had not yet dealt with the proposed project, he was blindsided by the suggestion that it would not be put into effect.
Despite Minister Daniel’s suggestion, Tillotson said he was hopeful the company’s renewable energy programme would receive the support of the new APUA board and would get permission to proceed, from Cabinet.
“The project, from our point of view, is fully alive and can go forward,” Tillotson said.
He also commented that, unlike the Cuban team which the Minister of Works proposes to bring in to establish a pilot wind power plant, his organisation already had the necessary expertise to implement the programme and had already laid the groundwork by carrying out necessary studies and identifying appropriate locations on which the turbines and plant could be sited.
Last week, Daniel announced that on a recent trip to Cuba, he had arranged for a team to be sent by the government of Cuba to explore the possibility of establishing wind power in Antigua. The Cubans are expected to set up a five megawatt pilot wind power project, but the minister also noted that Cuba does not itself produce wind generated energy.
He said the Cuban government would have to seek expertise and technical assistance from Holland, in order to assist Antigua & Barbuda in establishing wind energy.
If it goes forward, Caribbean Windpower’s proposed $98 million wind power project is projected to generate an output of electricity sufficient to initially supply 20 per cent of APUA’s average power needs, with the possibility that it can be expanded to meet up to 40 per cent of the power company’s demand.
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