Wind farms in New Caledonia, South PacificTyphoon-proof wind farms generate clean electricity for New Caledonia
A Pacific Island state and home to the world's largest lagoon, New Caledonia is known for its high level of biodiversity. However, it is also under threat from the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, ocean acidification and ever-changing rainfall. A wind energy project on the main island is sending out a strong signal with respect to sustainable development. The construction of six small wind farms, each generating 5 MW, means that coal is no longer required as a source of energy. Specially constructed wind turbines will also withstand tropical storms, which sends out a strong signal for the use of natural resources in the region.
The wind farms reduce New Caledonia's emissions of harmful greenhouse gases and improve local air quality as they replace conventional electricity production via coal plants. The wind turbines were built far away from local settlements, nature reserves and migratory routes. Existing mining access roads were used for construction purposes.
Thanks to this project, an average of 32,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases are saved each year (CO2 equivalent). Swiss Post purchases a stake in this total volume with the «pro clima» surcharges.
The facility supports the development through to more independent production of energy from natural renewable sources. The transfer of technology and training of the workers enables economic development through the project itself. The technology supplier, for example, supports the entire Pacific region from New Caledonia. The New Caledonians' dependency on the import of fossil fuels is reduced, which impacts positively on the balance of payments.
The project creates around 50 construction and maintenance jobs among the local population, reducing the pressure to migrate. The operator organizes tours for local schools and the general public to highlight the topic of wind power.