A second wind farm on the Caribbean island of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles looks set to be operational within a year following a recent agreement between the island's national energy distribution company KODELA, and Dutch utility, Delta Nutsbedrijven in partnership with NedWind Caribbean. The 9 MW power station, which is to be built on the island's northern shore at Playa Canoa some 20 kilometres upwind of Curacao's first wind plant at Tera Kora, will comprise 18, 500 kW, 47 metre, three bladed NedWind turbines built by the company in the Netherlands. The plant will be built, owned and operated by NedWind Caribbean in partnership with Delta Nutsbedrijven while KODELA, owner operator of the 3 MW Tera Kora plant, has pledged to buy all the power generated by the new project. According to KODELA, completion of the project will mean that some 4000 households on Curacao, a little under 10% of all households on the island, will be provided with wind generated power. According to Margo Guda of Fundashion Antiyana Pa Energica (FAPE) a non-governmental renewable energy organisation, wind power is the obvious choice for an island which has no other indigenous fuel resource: "We have some of the region's best wind resources, so if we don't use it it's like sitting on a gold mine and importing gold: crazy." The performance of the Tera Kora plant bears out her claim. Since it began supplying power to the island's grid in July 1993 the 3 MW plant has consistently surpassed expectations showing a 94% average availability in the first 12 months of operation, with KODELA's figures for the performance of the turbines indicating a 38% capacity factor. Preliminary analysis of wind data at the new site suggests the wind regime is at least as good as at Tera Kora, and may be even better. Situated on the windward side of the island both sites enjoy a nearly undisturbed sea breeze with very little diurnal variation.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol