Goldwind International Holdings Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co.) has signed a contract which will see them supply a total of 51MW of wind turbines to Energoimport, a subsidiary of Union Electrica (UNE), in Cuba.
The 51MW will be produced from 34 Goldwind 1.5MW direct-drive permanent magnet wind turbines to be delivered to Cuba. Goldwind will also provide a complete package of additional services including the transportation of the turbines, installation, trial operations, commissioning and a 2-year warranty for maintenance. Goldwind provided wind power to Cuba in 2009 in the form of 6 units of their 750kW wind turbines.
The location of the wind farm is on the North East of the island; “the La Herradura Project”, some 700 kilometres from the country’s capital, Havana. That area has an average wind speed of 7.5 metres per second and the turbines to harvest the renewable energy will be Goldwind’s customised 77/1500 DDPM wind turbines optimised to get the most from local conditions at the farm site.
The turbines are expected to be delivered by the end of next year, 2014 following which the turbines will be installed by June 2015, while connection to the local electric grid is scheduled to be completed by September 2015.
Last year, two of Cuba’s existing wind farms in the Holguín region managed to stand up to Hurricane Sandy. In a demonstration of how wind power can be more reliable and resilient than fossil fuel or nuclear power stations, the six 850 kW turbines and six 750 kW machines suffered only minor damage during the storm which saw winds of over 100 mph. As soon as the storm moved on, the turbines continued to provide electricity for the local grid.
Stefan Gsänger, World Wind Energy Association Secretary General, (pictured below) said
“Hurricane Sandy has reminded us of the vulnerability of our civilization by natural disasters, like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan a year ago. Also similar like 20 months ago, Sandy has demonstrated the high risks of nuclear power and the reliability of wind power, even under such extreme conditions . The survival of the Cuban wind farms is a strong sign, like the Japanese wind farm last year which was hit by the earthquake and a huge tsunami wave without being damaged. All this happened while nuclear and fossil power stations have not been able to provide electricity any more. We should learn our lessons from this and accelerate as fast as possible the shift towards decentralized renewable energy such as wind power, all over the world.”
According to Professor Conrado Moreno, Co-Chair of the WWEC2013 and Professor at the Cuban Center for Renewable Energy Technologies CETER, Cuba installed the two wind farms in the full knowledge that they could be hit by hurricanes and so took all the necessary provisions to make them hurricane-proof. Cuba hosted the 12th WWE Conference in June of this year.