The study comes as part of a collaborative agreement signed by the two parties in January 2009 to develop renewable energy in the Seychelles.
Studies undertaken by the Parties since the beginning of the year continue to suggest that wind power is potentially viable on Mahe and the decision has been made to move to the next stage of the development process and undertake a detailed wind resource assessment study. The study is expected to take 12 to 15 months.
Four wind measurement masts will be installed as part of the wind resource assessment study to measure, amongst other things, wind speed and direction. The masts will be in operation for a minimum of one year.
The next phase of the project, which will be an investigation into the environmental, technical and commercial feasibility of installing wind energy generators on Mahe, will be launched upon completion of the wind resource assessment should the study determine wind conditions on the island to be suitable for the generation of electricity.
A site selection process identified Inner Harbour (Parcel H8331), La Misere (Parcel B1721) Tea Factory (Parcel B2509) and Four Seasons (Parcel T289) as locations for the masts. The selection process balanced environmental concerns against technical aspects such as electrical grid access and wind potential.
Current expectations are that the masts will be installed by the end of 2009. Some site preparation work is required prior to the installation of the masts and a tender for this work will be issued shortly.
Electricity generated from wind would be a material first step towards diversifying the Seychelles electricity supply system away from fossil fuels and in the process help mitigate risks associated with energy supply and climate change. Wind energy would also enhance the environmental credentials of the Seychelles, bringing with it branding benefits for the Seychelles tourist industry.