Abu Dhabi launches wind farm in Seychelles

Published June 19th, 2013 - 10:24 GMT
Masdar's Seychelles Wind Farm
Masdar's Seychelles Wind Farm

The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company or Masdar in association with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has launched a six-megawatt, eight-turbine wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles. The project was developed by Masdar and funded by ADFD.

The Port Victoria Wind Farm accounts for eight per cent of Mahé Island’s energy capacity – the main island of Seychelles – which is home to 90 per cent of the country’s population. The clean energy generated by this project will displace 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually, power more than 2,100 homes and save 1.6 million litres of fuel per year.

Seychelles currently relies on expensive diesel generators to meet its electricity demand. With fuel accounting for 25 per cent of the country’s total net imports, Seychelles is committed to diversifying its energy mix and reducing its reliance on fuel imports. Being an island country, with limited options to produce electricity, wind power generation presents a viable solution to meet a national target of 15 per cent energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“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.”

“The Seychelles wind project is an example of how access to energy can serve as a pathway for economic development and social opportunity,” said 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.”

The Port Victoria Wind Farm also represents an achievement in engineering. The project required Masdar to construct eight wind turbines, on two separate islands and connect the wind farm with 3 kilometers of subsea cables. In addition, Masdar used advanced turbines that can harness energy during low-to-medium wind speeds and which are resilient to corrosion from the salt and humidity of the ocean.

“The UAE has been actively assisting developing countries to achieve economic growth and social opportunity through strategic aid and support programs,” said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, acting director general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.  

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