Carbon earnings from 19.5 MW Jepirachi wind plant

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Colombian utility Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) plans to start generation from its 19.5 MW Jepirachi wind plant in February once Germany's Nordex Energy completes assembly of the turbines and testing the substation. The plant is located in Wayuu indigenous territory in the north-eastern region of the Atlantic Colombian coast, within the district of Uribia in the department of Guajira. The average wind speed at the site is an exceptionally high 10 m/s and the plant has a projected capacity factor of 46%. Nordex is installing 15, 1.3 MW turbines. Annual production of around 68.3 GWh will be sold through the spot market on the Colombian wholesale power exchange with power delivery through the national interconnected grid. Under a carbon credit trading model, the World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) agreed in December 2002 to buy the first 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide reductions at $4 a ton, for a total of some $3.2 million. The total estimated emission reductions to be achieved by the project are 1.17 million tons of carbon dioxide over 21 years. EPM, says Jepirachi, is a pilot project and is not expected to be profitable. Indeed, the installed cost is a high $1350/kW. More relevant is the project's performance, says Jepirachi, which will help EPM and others to decide whether to start up more wind operations. Colombia's total wind power potential is estimated at 5000 MW, according to the PCF.

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