IFC and Barbados to build new wind farm with community involvement

Barbados is boosting its clean energy production with a new wind farm project on the way. The government announced its collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to develop the Lamberts Wind Farm, located in the parishes of St. Lucy and St. Peter.

This initiative aims to tackle climate change, diversify the island’s energy sources, and bring down energy costs in the long run. The wind farm is expected to generate between 30 and 50 megawatts of power.

The project will be developed as a public-private partnership (PPP), with IFC acting as a transaction advisor. The government will hold a competitive bidding process to find a qualified private company to build and operate the wind farm according to international standards.

For a firsthand look at a similar project, representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Business (MEB), IFC, and local stakeholders recently visited the BMR Jamaica Wind Project. This 36-megawatt wind farm serves as a successful example for Barbados.

“Barbados is a leader in setting ambitious climate-smart energy targets, and we continue to focus our efforts on meeting these targets. So far, we have seen an incredible solar PV-driven response from the market to our targets, and so we are excited to have the development of our first large sale wind project. But reaching our targets is also about people and in everything we do, inclusion of people and communities must matter. Our tour of the BMR wind farm is a case in point— by involving local community members, we can utilize new technologies and realize economic benefits in a way that brings everyone along,” said Lisa R. Cummins, Minister of Energy and Business in Barbados

Community engagement is a key focus, with Anderson Rollock, the Community Liaison Officer for Lamberts Wind Farm, actively participating in the visit. He spoke with local residents in Jamaica to understand how wind farms operate alongside existing agricultural activities.

“Touring the BMR wind farm was incredibly helpful. I was able to speak to local community members— including farmers, a school principal, and other residents of St. Elizabeth— which provided me with additional background on how wind farms operate and how agricultural activities can carry on after construction is completed,” Anderson Rollock, the Community Liaison Officer for Lamberts Wind Farm project, observed. “I am taking this knowledge back to Barbados where I’m engaging my local community to overcome concerns and emphasize the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy.” 

“IFC is pleased to be working with the Government of Barbados on generating more renewable energy, which will help the country reduce its dependence on imported fuels, translate into a more stable energy supply, and lower consumer rates,” said Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulire, IFC Regional Manager for the Caribbean.

The IFC has a proven track record in PPP projects, having advised and closed over 170 such projects in developing countries, bringing in more than $46 billion in private investment. This includes successful projects in Jamaica, like the Norman Manley Airport concession and the North Coast Highway development. (PR)

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