By Lori Llewellyn, Director of Human Resources
Anyone that knows me knows of my love of Jamaica. Her people, food, music and culture have seeped into my conscience. In my twenty years of travel to the island, I have visited all but one of Jamaica’s fourteen parishes.
So, imagine my utter surprise as I rode through a remote section of Manchester (with my brother-in-law at the wheel) that connects that parish to the parish of St. Elizabeth, and peeking over the horizon, I saw a WINDMILL. Then another and another. From the front passenger seat, my husband counted twenty-three!
Beautiful and striking, standing taller and prouder than any palm grove could ever stand, is the Wigton Wind Farm Ltd (WWF). According to their website, the wind farm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and was incorporated on April 12, 2000. The farm’s objectives are to own, develop, construct and operate wind farms and similar renewable energy systems to harness energy for commercial production and to generate electricity for sale to customers.
When doing my research for this post, I discovered that Jamaica has had a long-standing relationship with windmills dating back to sugar production on the island. Ruins of historic mills that were powered by water, wind or animal can be found languishing in disrepair on estates dotting the countryside. There is additional talk of somehow harnessing the waste generated by current sugar production to provide the energy needed to fuel additional wind turbines throughout the country. There’s even a DIY video on You Tube giving instructions on how to make your own Jamaican windmill.
Standing in stark contrast to the rolling greenness of the hills of Manchester, who knew that the Land of Wood and Water was also the land of Windmills?