Tanji Wind Farm
In 2011 PURA received an application for a Licence to operate a wind farm in The Gambia. This application was reviewed, evaluated and a positive recommendation forwarded to the Hon. Minister for Energy for a Licence to be awarded in accordance with the Electricity Act.
The project comprises of two 450 kVA wind turbines with an investment cost of more than $600,000. The Turbines are Bonus 450 with a hub height of 35m and contain three blades. The rotor diameter is 37m. As part of the installations two step-up transformers as well as a transmission line were constructed to connect with the coastal 33kV transmission ring currently operated by the national utility company, NAWEC.
The project is relying on historical wind data from the wind measurements from the Batakunku wind turbine which averages at 5.51m/s. The Application suggests that although the wind energy regime is promising, there is also the limitation of a lack of a crane to install turbines above 35m.
Through the Ministry of Energy, UNIDO/GEF provided a grant of 30% of project costs to realize this project due to the savings on CO2 that will be realized. Private sector financing of the project is coming from two wind energy companies in Germany Windstorm GmBH and GeBePro GmBH. The former has in fact has a short experience with wind energy maintenance in The Gambia as they installed the Batakunku pilot project in 2009. The other financiers include Mr. Peter Weiss felt who currently operates the Batakunku Wind pilot project and Mr. Berben who owns an electrical company in The Gambia.
Construction work at the wind turbine site started in May 2012 with the construction of the foundation and by the mid-August the first turbine was erected. The speed of construction of the project illustrates how wind energy can be used to rapidly meet the sharp increases in demand of electricity in The Gambia.