Aruba’s $90 Million Renewable Energy Project is Underway

ARUBA – Aruba, the island of 90,000 friends you haven’t met yet, has announced that work has begun on the island’s $90 million renewable energy project. Construction had broken ground in late-June at Vader Piet, the eastern part of the island, which has been designated as the location of 10 giant wind turbines with a potential of generating a total of 30 megawatts of renewable energy. This project is an investment by the Danish company, VESTAS, which in turn will sell electricity to WEB Aruba NV, the island’s water and power company.

This project is one of many recent upgrades in Aruba’s effort to be less dependent on fossil fuels, to lessen the ever increasing demand on the local plant, and to help preserve and protect the island’s environment.

The wind turbines are expected to generate an estimated 18 megawatts total based on the flow of the island’s constant trade winds. The project is scheduled to be completed in December 2009 and work is already under way with the necessary lines being set in place, running from Vader Piet all the way to WEB Aruba’s headquarters in Balashi.

WEB Aruba recently put online its existing RECIP Motor, which was used as a back-up motor since 1998, for continuous use. The RECIP motor helps produce more energy while consuming less fuel oil and is rated 50 percent more efficient than conventional boiler engines. The first phase was set in place in August 2006, gradually replacing the boilers and generator turbines and an immediate drop in oil consumption was noted. Phase two was set in place in October 2008, generating a total of 48 megawatts and lowering oil consumption even more. WEB Aruba converted a RECIP motor in July 2009 from diesel fuel to oil fuel in order to further lower consumption. Since the introduction and conversion of the RECIP motors, an equivalent of Aruban Florins 210,000 in efficiency have been generated since July 4 this year. WEB Aruba plans to gradually increase the production of electricity trough the RECIP motors while lessening the use and production on electricity through conventional boilers.

WEB Aruba has also put online the first Seawater Reverse Osmosis water plant generating 8,000 tons per day at a rate of 75 percent efficiency compared to the previous system.

The company continues to face Aruba’s needs and the challenges with state of the art facilities and equipment, latest technological advances, highly qualified personnel, and continuous improvement of service, efficiency and reliability of its operations. During the last decade, WEB Aruba has invested approximately $250 million to upgrade, modernize, and expand its water production and electricity generation.

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