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Clean Power Image Credit: Masdar

Published on June 18th, 2013 | by James Ayre

5

1st Renewable Energy Project In Republic Of Seychelles — 6 MW Wind Farm

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June 18th, 2013 by  

The 6 MW Port Victoria Wind Farm just launched on Mahé Island in the Republic of Seychelles. The wind farm consists of eight turbines provided by Masdar and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). It is the first large-scale renewable energy project in the Seychelles.

Image Credit: Masdar

Image Credit: Masdar

The 6 MWs provided by the wind farm represent a full 8% of Mahé Island’s total energy capacity — and it will displace an estimated 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide every year, provide electricity to more than 2,100 homes, and reduce fuel use by about 1.6 million liters a year. Mahé Island is the main island of the republic, and is home to about 90% of its population.

Before this wind farm went up, the Seychelles were almost entirely dependent upon diesel generators for electricity — in addition to being quite expensive, these generators also produce a lot of air pollution. A full 25% of the country’s total net imports were diesel fuel. That’s quite a high percentage. As a result, the diversification of its energy mix has been a goal of the country for some time now.

This new project — developed by Masdar and funded by the ADFD — was created to address this — helping to cut down on costs, reduce imports, and reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.



The country’s current goal is to receive at least 15% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2030. With the completion of this wind farm, the country is now well on its way to reaching that goal.

“Access to sustainable, clean sources of energy is vital to our long-term economic development,” said James Michel, president of the Republic of Seychelles. “The addition of wind power is a major step toward meeting our clean energy targets and reducing our dependency on imported sources of power. We look forward to further opportunities to assess our wind power potential and continue to diversify our energy mix.”

As renewable energy technologies become more affordable, they are more and more becoming an economically viable way for countries like the Seychelles to improve energy security — ensuring access and also dampening the effect of market fluctuations. With the price of fossil fuels likely to continue rising over the next couple of decades, such a strategy is likely a smart one.

“The Seychelles wind project is an example of how access to energy can serve as a pathway for economic development and social opportunity,” said H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar.

In particular, for remote island nations, the integration of sustainable energy can deliver an immediate economic and tangible impact. Today, Seychelles can redirect fuel savings into investments in infrastructure development, social programs and to spurring economic growth.

This project builds on Masdar’s commitment to demonstrating the economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy

With prices falling and new advancements in technology, renewable energy is reaching grid parity in many parts of the world. With energy demand expected to double by 2030 – putting a further strain on our natural resources – renewable energy is a viable solution to power future growth.

A couple of interesting things to note about the Port Victoria Wind Farm include:

  • The 8 wind turbines were constructed on two different islands and connected via 3 kilometers of subsea cables.
  • The turbines used are designed to work effectively in low-to-medium wind speeds, and are built so as to be resistant to corrosion from the salt and humidity of the location.

Masdar’s involvement in the Port Victoria Wind Farm isn’t an isolated circumstance — it currently has numerous other similar projects in development around the world. These include: A 15 MW solar PV power plant in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (the largest solar PV power plant in Africa), a 500-kilowatt solar PV power plant on the island of Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga, and an off-grid solar PV project in Afghanistan that will provide about 600 residences with electricity.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • Others

    Population of Seychelles is only 90,000, but being a tourist paradise, the floating population may be quite high.

    Let’s say there are 4 / household and even at 100,000 population (including tourists), there will be only 4,000 houses / hotel rooms. And this may consume 4 MW since the African / Asian / European homes are much smaller and consume only 1 KW. But then there may be other uses like offices, air ports, sea ports, and the total consumption may be some where around 20 MW. This 6 MW wind turbines would have roughly saved 25% of Diesel.

    Ideally all island nations should install a Wind turbine near shore and off shore and also use the tidal turbine to reduce the Diesel consumption. This will help them to be 100% renewable and also cut the foreign oil import.

    Slowly the bigger island nations like Ireland, Britain, Japan can join in big way.

  • Bob_Wallace

    What would have helped this article is some data on the cost of imported diesel fuel and the cost of electricity.

    25% of how much was saved?

  • anderlan

    How can folks say wind towers are ugly and industrial? Who ever was put off by an old fashioned windmill? Where people are in large numbers and need plenty of power, and there is wind blowing, wind towers are there. They are certainly more appealing than transmission pylons, and those are everywhere.

    (And the alternative centralized fossil power sources with their invisible emissions are our death. So many are anxious about what necessity will impose upon us that they do not realize that sometimes what it imposes is actually pleasing!)

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      I love the things.

      • Matt

        Or compare them to being next to 6MW of diesel generators. What they need is to increase the count by 5-10 times. And add some deep water cooling, since a large portion is likely AC. Note “A full 25% of the country’s total net imports were diesel fuel” That is money lost forever, once the turbine is up if owned local the money can stall local.

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