The two wind turbines in Rubesa, Wangdue that has been operational since 2016 to date generated about 2 million units of power contributing about Nu 5 million in revenue.

According to data with the renewable energy department with Bhutan Power Corporation, in 2016, the highest generation was recorded in August, September, May, February and April. For 2017, the highest was in June, April, March, August and September.

The two turbines generated more than 700,000 units in 2016 and more than a million last year.

General manager of the renewable energy department, Dechen Choling, said the two turbines are working well and generating energy as expected. “The two turbines could not generate much in 2016 as it needed to be established but generation picked up in 2017.”

He said that although the generation is less in summer due to lack of wind, the difference is not that much. “But the generation also depends on weather conditions. Sometimes even in summer when there is heavy wind along with rain, generation is high.”

Should the project expand and the turbines generate more energy, he said that the energy from the turbines could complement the generation from hydropower.  “If we have the energy generation from the turbines in megawatts it will be helpful.”

The two turbines occupying an acre each can generate about 600kw of energy and cater to about 300 households provided the generation is full.

Dechen Choling said a minimum wind speed of three metres per second is needed for the turbines to be able to generate energy. The turbines can however generate with a wind speed of up to 25 metres per second after which it shuts down automatically. “The tower can withstand a wind speed of upto 80 metres per second and has a capacity factor of 25 percent. It means that it is generating 25 percent of the time in a day or a year.”

Although the turbines do not face any major problems being new, Dechen Choling said that the current staff are not experienced enough and could face difficulties in case of a major problem.

“If a major problem occurs, maintenance could also become expensive since it’s a small project. However, the technology has been tested and we should not have major problems in the next 10 to 15 years,” he said. “If we keep doing such projects, we will also complete our pursuit of generating energy from mixed sources.”

He added that the site being a class A site could accommodate about five more turbines.

The two turbines were constructed with a grant of Nu 163 million (USD 2.7M).

Karma Cheki