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BL&P may take to the sea


BL&P may take to the sea

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Faced with uncertainty over its proposed Lamberts, St Lucy wind farm and limited land resources on the island, Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) might resort to floating wind turbines offshore.

Christopher Huskilson, president and chief executive officer of BL&P’s Canadian parent company Emera Inc. said after 15 years of trying to produce electricity from wind onshore, doing so in the sea was the secondary option being considered.

He made the announcement during a renewable energy presentation on Wednesday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, but said BL&P had not abandoned its plan for the wind farm on land.

“It’s early days. It is a technology that is pre-commercial so what is existing right now is a one-eighth operating version. So what we are actually working to do is to get one done that would actually work in Barbados. The design that’s been done so far for the little version is a little too big. It’s about six megawatts, that’s a substantial scale machine, so we are thinking something that is maybe half that size,” he said.

“And then the real opportunity is that a lot of the products necessary to actually build that facility are available right here. One of the big things is how much of the activity necessary to put a piece of technology in place can be done in the market.

“So if you could build a concrete base here in Barbados then that’s work for more people in Barbados and it ends up being an economic spin-off It’s too early to say exactly where but it is something we are working towards from a pilot perspective, a pilot project to actually get a floating machine here.”

Huskilson said Emera had recognised that “it’s very, very difficult to put wind on shore” although “we have got a good wind resource in Barbados”.

“Barbados Light & Power has been working on the Lamberts project for ten or 15 years and I think we are on another version of it but it’s not certain that we can actually get that done. And so if that doesn’t happen, then we need to find another way and that’s where the floating project comes in.” (SC)