T&TEC to test wind energy


Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales, left, and T&TEC chairman Romney Thomas, tour T&TEC’s Union/Gandhi 220 KV Circuit No2 in La Brea after the commissioning in April.

Local electricity provider, T&TEC, will begin conducting site testing for wind energy harvesting in this country over the course of the next 12 months.

This was confirmed by Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales as he addressed the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) engineering and procurement conference and exhibition at the Hyatt on Sunday evening.

“The commission (T&TEC) will later this year commence more extensive wind generation testing, using light detecting and ranging wind monitoring systems. Tests will be conducted in one-year increments on at least four sites in Trinidad identified as having high potential for wind power.

“Testing will be done at two sites at a time, the wind speed data collected over the 12-month period will be used to determine whether sufficient wind resources exist at these locations and estimate the performance and economic viability of wind turbine generation,” said Gonzales.

He said that should wind turbine generation be found feasible, the data will aid in the development of wind farms in Trinidad and Tobago. This would add renewable technology to the country’s portfolio for power generation with the long-term benefit being the reduction of carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel generation.

The Minister noted that T&TEC had been doing testing on alternative and renewable energy sources in recent years and had been using the data compiled to develop policies and frameworks for the adoption of the methods by citizens.

This approach could also potentially reduce Trinidad and Tobago’s carbon emissions.

He explained, “Over the years, the commission’s research has included a solar PV pilot project at T&TEC Mt Hope, the University of Trinidad and Tobago O’Meara campus, a T&TEC Powergen hybrid solar and wind system at the Islamic children home in Gasparillo and wind power testing at Minister’s Bay and Flagstaff in Tobago. These test sites provided a good account of the amount of alternative energy to be gained under varying conditions.

“The solar projects also facilitated a drafting of the wiring for renewable manual leading to a technical guide for wiring buildings according to the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission and the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards and the electrical inspectorate safety standards.”

He said, “A recent survey on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy pricing in Trinidad and Tobago shows high awareness and interest in installing solar technologies such as rooftop photo-voltaic systems. We are committed to making the required changes to our legislative framework to allow for a feeding tariff and domestic rooftop generation utility meeting the building standard code for the sector.”


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