Over the next 3 years, the Wigton Windfarm Limited (Wigton) is hoping to transform its Resource Centre into a high tech training facility for renewable energy, with the aim of developing local capacity and expertise in the industry. Currently, the Resource Centre is outfitted with multimedia capability, electronic workstations and a wind energy poster series. However,plans are afoot to expand the offerings of the facility to include physical demonstration models and industrial renewable energy apparatus in a practical laboratory setting.
During the past six months a number of university students and professionals in the energy sector have benefited from the training interventions offered at the Resource Centre. In February, over 30 persons from local universities, utility and energy companies participated in a renewable energy workshop (wind seminar) delivered by Vestas.
In July, Wigton collaborated with the University of the West Indies, the Scientific Research Council and Alternative Power Sources to offer a 3-week certificate course in Alternative Energy. The third module of the course ‘Large-scale Wind, Solar and Bio-Diesel: Design Installation, Operation and Maintenance’ was hosted at Wigton’s Resource Centre.
Wigton intends to build on this initiative, by forging greater collaboration with more manufacturers and experts to deliver workshops, seminars and specialized training courses.
The Wigton Resource Centre was conceived as part of the Wigton Phase II 18 megawatts(MW) expansion project which was completed in December 2010 and 100% debt financed from the PetroCaribe Development Fund. The main objectives of the Resource Centre are to:
- Facilitate renewable energy technology transfer to the Jamaican entrepreneur and scientific community.
- Promote green energy education, including wind farm operations to local and overseas visitors, schools up to grade 11 and interested persons in the energy sector.
- Collaborate with tertiary level institutions in the delivery of curriculum associated with renewable energy, including hands on training.
Revenue streams to cover the cost of operating the centre will be generated from grant funding, tours by overseas guests, seminar deliveries as well as certification courses through tertiary institutions.
Wigton Windfarm Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). It presently owns and operates a 38.7 MW wind farm complex in Manchester which represents 4.5% of generating capacity installed on the grid and 2.6 % of electricity generation.