Posted by Tom Rosenberger on October 5, 2012 in Technology
CNFL, Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz, has been the primary distributor of electricity in Costa Rica since 1941. CNFL has 480,000 customers, provides 46% of Costa Rica’s electricity and is the national institution that distributes most of the power throughout the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM). During the dry season, when CNFL’s nine hydroelectric plants cannot keep up with the demand, they have been forced to utilize diesel power plants to supply electricity for their residential and commercial customers.
Now they have a new project in the mountains near Pabellón, Santa Ana that is environmentally friendly and produces zero pollution. This new wind turbine project, called Proyecto Eólico Valle Central, consists of 17, 20 meter high, wind turbines, each with the capacity to generate 900 kilowatts of energy, capable of providing energy for 15,000 households of CNFL subscribers.
The total cost of the Central Valley Turbine Wind Project is predicted to be ¢25 billion colones and has been funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); in cooperation with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Additionally, CNFL provides some of the capital investment as well as the technical and specialized personnel who will maintain the turbines. Currently the first phase of the new turbine project is producing at 88% capacity and the CNFL engineers are expecting rapid progress before the anticipated completion date.
Meteorological and geological studies determined that the viability of this project was excellent, given the strong and stable wind currents in the mountains surrounding Costa Rica’s central valley. The return on investment will yield large environmental benefits as well as lower operating costs for CNFL and thus, lower electric bills for its clients throughout the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM).