Colombian state-controlled petroleum company Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC) began pilot tests to measure the potential of wind energy in areas close to its Atlantic coast operations in Cartagena, with the aim of evaluating the viability of the construction of wind farms that will potentially allow it to self-supply part of the energy demand of the company’s operations in this region of the country.
The measurements are carried out by means of a 150-meter-high meteorological tower (above) that was installed in a lot near the oil producer’s Cartagena refinery. The infrastructure has a constant monitoring system in real time made up of vanes that track the direction of the wind, as well as anemometers that measure its speed.
“We are interested in adding wind to our renewable energy portfolio to continue diversifying our energy portfolio. For this reason, we will be carrying out the measurements for at least 12 months and then carrying out the feasibility studies that allow us to make decisions,” said Oscar Urrea, Ecopetrol’s Energy Manager.
The company estimates that in the second half of this year it will also begin wind energy potential measurements in the Colombian departments of Huila and Casanare on land adjacent to its local operations in those regions. In terms of wind generation, there are prospects identified in the Atlantic Coast, Casanare and Huila that would allow adding 90 MW by 2023.
These studies are part of the company’s actions to increase its renewable energy sources to 400 MW by 2023, as part of its energy transition and decarbonization strategy. Said plan contemplates the evaluation and maturation of projects with other alternative sources of energy, including hydrogen, as well as the further development of gas as an environmentally friendly fuel, among other initiatives.