National

Wind turbines fail to
generate power

Seven wind turbines launched in Nusa Penida, an island southeast of Bali, during the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in December 2007 have failed to deliver any of their promised power to local residents.

A solar plant was also opened during the conference, as a demonstration of the administrations commitment to renewable energy. The solar plant continues to perform efficiently, producing up to 30 kilowatts of electricity per hour. The wind farms, however, have stayed silent.

Head of Nusa Penida district Wayan Sumarta acknowledged that the seven wind plants have never been operational.

He said he regrets their failure, lamenting the fact that the plants cost billions of rupiah to construct and had not lived up the high hopes locals had for them as an alternative source of energy.

"It is truly regrettable that a major project like this was not been managed appropriately. Now, they are nothing more than monuments. We expect the government to pay serious attention to them," he said.

Each wind turbine (see picture) cost a reported Rp 3.5 billion ($US325,000) to build and had a planned production capacity 80 kilowatts.

Contacted by phone, spokesperson of the Bali branch of the state-owned electricity company PT PLN, Agung Mustika, denied that the plants have never worked.

"All of the plants operate normally. If their turbines do not move, they are storing the energy. It doesn't mean they are not functioning," he said.

PLN financed in part the construction of the plants and is responsible for their operation and maintenance.--JP/Ni Komang Erviani

Post Your Say

Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.