US$31.5M Hope Wind Farm poised for take-off with Chinese turbine manufacturer

Guyana’s next clean energy project could be harnessing wind power, with Chinese wind energy company Goldwind proposing to sign on to the US$31.5 million Hope Wind Farm project as provider of technology and possibly financing.

Goldwind has over 20 years of wind industry experience, installed more onshore Permanent Magnet Direct Drive turbines than all other manufacturers combined and is recognised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as one of the 50 most innovative companies.

A source told Stabroek News that Goldwind is proposing to sign on to the project.

In terms of its track record, Goldwind is successfully developing a broad international footprint, with over 366 megawatts delivered and a backlog of 439 megawatts outside of China. The company also has a presence in the United States.

It also has financing from multiple regional US banks and repeat customer order intake in both North and South America. It has a Chicago-based senior management team responsible for the Americas with over 150 years of combined experience in wind energy.

On explaining the utility of its Permanent Magnet Direct Drive technology, Goldwind said in a company profile that it its technology eliminates failures of gearboxes requiring crane mobilisation and also eliminates gearbox energy losses. It also promises 3 to 5 per cent more efficient power conversion and 20 per cent lower maintenance cost.

According to the Executive Summary of the project document, the Hope Beach Wine Farm (HBWF) is a renewable energy investment opportunity to support Guyana’s Low Carbon Develop-ment Strategy. The farm will be designed with an installed capacity of 25 megawatts to harness energy of the North East Trade winds that are experienced along the South American coast.

HBWF will be the first of its kind in Guyana and will supply 10 per cent of the energy needed for the Demerara Interconnected System of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).

The summary said that because of the poor reliability of supply and high unit cost of electricity supplied by GPL, the wind farm is poised to provide long term supply of green power for a growing energy demand with urban centres expanding with new housing developments.

According to the Executive Summary, the HBWF is designed with 10 x 2.5 megawatts Goldwind turbines mounted 80 metres in a straight line. It said that the projected annual production is 82 gigawatt hours to generate US$9.84 million per annum. It said that the investment cost is US$31 million and the wind turbines will be installed at a rate of US$1,160 per kilowatt or US$29 million.

The summary said that the environmental benefits of the project include reduction of 54,680 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, 277 tons of nitrogen oxide and 870 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

According to the summary, the project is a turnkey one and the farm can be constructed and commissioned within six months.

It said the project will derive revenue from the sale of carbon credits as these markets emerge. The financial model was built for a 15-year project period. The internal rate of return is 15.4 per cent, while net present value is US$11.7 million. “The simple payback is six years, return on equity is 22.93 per cent, the Executive Summary said.

With regards to the project ownership structure, the project document said at the moment the only owner of the project is Guyana Windfarms Incorporated. “This special purpose company was established under the laws of Guyana and has its principal office at 78 Garnett Street, Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown, Guyana,” it said.

It said too that 100 per cent of the shares of Guyana Windfarms Inc. are reserved for transfer to an approved equity provider or investor.

The document said that the project will sell its power to GPL at a cost of US10.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The interest rate for the commercial loan will be 10 per cent. The repayment period will be 10 years. The project will benefit from a 10-year tax holiday and there will be an erosion fund of US$2,000 per metre for a total of US$2.8 million. The project’s clean development mechanism (CDM) for its certified emission reductions (CER) will be 5.75 euro per tonne of carbon dioxide.

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