jueves, agosto 30, 2007

DR1: Windpower for Samana

Last week, the town of Las Galeras in Samana became the first part of the DR to benefit from clean electricity generated by wind power, according to Jose Oscar Orsini, president of Luz y Fuerza de Las Terrenas, C. por A. power company. The operation of the country's first commercial wind-powered generator, a 60KW generator, will reduce electricity prices by 5-8% for consumers in Las Galeras. The company plans to sell the kWh for US$0.15 and US$0.17. Luz y Fuerza de Las Terrenas, C. por A. has the concession for power distribution in the north and east of the Samana Peninsula. It purchases the power from Generadora Eolica de Las Galeras, S.A., presided by Jaime Fernandez. The Las Galeras wind park is located on a plain at Las Guzumas, Cabo Samana, where the winds are very favorable. A coastal shelf formed by a marble mine at 800 feet dropping down to the sea creates a kind of Venturi air flow effect that accelerates the force of the winds. The generator can currently provide 15% of the power used in the beach town of Las Galeras. Generadora Eolica de Las Galeras, S.A. plans to install a wind park with the capacity to generate 1,200KW to supply 20% of the north and eastern areas of the Samana peninsula. The park has the capacity for three 275KW and four 60KW generators when the Las Galeras and Las Terrenas systems are interconnected. The first four 60KWs will be installed by June 2008 and plans are for the system to be interconnected by the end of 2008. The wind park requires a US$1.5 million investment, of which US$500,000 has been invested in the first system now in operation. The site was chosen 10 years ago when USAID financed a study on wind power potential in the Dominican Republic, which was carried out by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NREC) of the United States.

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