Development of Alternative Energy
The Consorcio Energético Punta Cana Macao started its renewable energies related activities in 1998, when it installed a measuring tower to gather data on the wind parameters at the Far East side of the island, inside its influence area, at Cabo Engaño, La Altagracia. This first measuring was the introduction so that, in the year 2000, the Danish consulting firm RISO was hired so that they could establish several measuring stations all over the Dominican Republic. The study revealed the following as the top sites in which to do so:
- Cabo Engaño, La Altagracia
- Farallón, in the high part of the cliff that goes through the Punta Cana and Bávaro area, in La Altagracia
- Barahona, Barahona
- Juancho, Pedernales
With this information, CEPM focus its attention in the Cabo Engaño Project (8.25 MW). During 2003, 2004 and 2005 the necessary steps were taken to secure a loan from the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank). The process of selecting the companies that would obtain the government and environmental permits also started at that time, as well as the selection of the developer for the project.
During the first months of 2006, just when the project was about to start their first construction stage, the Ministry of Tourism shut it down, arguing that a tourism related project worth more than 5,000 million dollars was approved for construction in the same area. This project hasn’t been constructed to date.
This obstacle to the Project in Cabo Engaño forced CEPM to double its efforts to secure a new location for its windmill park. That is how, in 2010, the construction woks started at Juancho, Pedernales.
Finally, in October 2011, the park started operations and was named Quilvio Cabrera Windmill Park, in honor to the late Ing. Quilvio Cabrera, who was the Director of the Instituto Agrario Dominicano when the company was negotiating the lad in which the park was to be constructed, and who gave his unconditional support to the project.
The Quilvio Cabrera Windmill Park, located in town of Juancho, Pedernales, constitutes an important contribution to the diversification of the country’s energy generation mix, producing 8.25 megawatts of clean energy with 5 Vestas windmills that help the Dominican Republic save 45,000 barrels of oil every year, and avoid the annual release of more than 11,000 tones of CO2.