Power company launches wind feasibility study for 25 MW

Colombia's integrated power company, EPM, and the German agency for technology co-operation agreements, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, will start an 18 month feasibility study next month for a 24.7 MW wind farm in La Guajira department, the northernmost tip of South America. Two wind monitoring stations will be installed, joining the Kasushi station, which has been in place since May this year in the desert area of La Guajira. The site lies near an existing transmission line. Pre-feasibility studies have shown average wind speeds of 7.3 m/s at a height of ten metres and a potential capacity factor of 46%. Initial studies also showed generation potential using 19 turbines at estimated costs of $1050/kW, says Luis Rodriguez of EPM. Wind power in Colombia does not get any special regulatory treatment, although the government is considering new policy that would take effect in planning, power dispatch, regulations and environmental licenses -- something EPM will study further, Rodriguez says. La Guajira has a low population and is poorer than most of Colombia, although connection to the national system would allow for power to be supplied farther afield. At a more local level, power from the wind farm could supply Puerto Bolivar's port facilities, which serve as a major export centre for Colombian coal from the Cerrejon mine.