Colombia: Jepirachi Wind Farm
(Prototype Carbon Fund)
UNFCCC Reference No.:
3 Project Documents
The First PCF Project To Pay A Premium For Benefits For The
Sustainable Development Of The Community
A windswept coastal arid land, the Guajira region on Colombia's northeast Atlantic coast is one of
the poorest on the South American continent. An inhospitable environment has made everyday life
on their traditional lands miserably difficult for the region's indigenous Indian people, the Wayuu.
There is no permanent access to drinking water, which results in a high level of disease in an area
with ill-stocked health centers and lack of access to education.
But things are looking up for local Wayuu in La Guajira. The PCF, through the provision of carbon
finance, hopes to contribute to improving the welfare of this disadvantaged community. In December
2002, the PCF signed an agreement with the utility company Empresas Públicas de Medellín to
purchase 800,000 tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions from the 19.5 megawatt Jepirachi
Wind Power Project, which is located in the Wayuu Indigenous Territory of the northeast Atlantic coast
of Colombia in the Department of Guajira. Once construction is completed in February 2004, the
fifteen windmills will be delivering around 68.3 gigawatt hours per year to the Colombian national
grid. Over a 21-year period, the project will prevent carbon dioxide emissions of 1,168,000 tons, which
would occur if the power were generated by conventional methods.
The name Jepirachi means ”northeast wind“ in the Wayuu language, and indeed the location is ideal
for wind generation—at a height of around 60 meters the average wind speed is 10 meters per
second. And the wind is constant, ensuring a high annual yield of power.
The Jepirachi Wind Power Project was used as a basis to propose a new baseline methodology to
the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board based on least cost analysis and optimization
modeling for renewable energy capacity additions to existing power systems. It was also the basis
for the proposal of a new monitoring methodology for capacity expansion projects which replace
electricity that would otherwise be generated and dispatched to the grid by other power plants.
Inauguration of the wind farm (Photo: World Bank)
The Jepirachi Wind Power Project will contribute to the sustainable development of Colombia in
many ways. First, it will demonstrate the potential for wind-based generation at the commercial level,
thereby facilitating investments that will capture the relatively large wind-energy potential identified
in the country.
Secondly, the Jepirachi Wind Power Project will contribute to the capacity to increase the share of
non-hydroelectric energy in the national grid, which is currently dominated by hydroelectric and
thermal energy options. This is critical for Colombia, as it must enhance the grid’s reliability of supply
to avoid the forced rationing experienced during the 1990s after severe droughts caused power
shortages. Without carbon finance, the favored option for capacity additions would be thermal
energy given its relatively low cost.
Finally, the Jepirachi Wind Power Project will contribute to the development of the host indigenous
community, which is among the poorest in the country, by financing a series of community-driven projects
designed in consultation with the project sponsor, that are above and beyond what is required by
the system of transfers mandated by Colombian law. The social plan was the result of extensive consultation
with the community and the project developer about community needs. The main features of
the social plan are: training to facilitate direct and indirect job creation; the provision of a water desalinization
plant fed by wind power and the provision of water storage depots; the rehabilitation of the
graveyard; health and educational facilities, as well as the refurbishing of a health center, including solarpowered
refrigeration capacity. By targeting water supply, education and health services, the project
addresses the priorities for social development identified by the community. There is also an agreement
between the project sponsor and the host indigenous community to review the program two years
following its implementation.
For its part, the PCF has agreed to pay a premium of US$0.50 per ton of emission reductions upon the
implementation of this plan—in addition to the funds for the purchase of 800,000 tons—which will be
monitored using a series of specified indicators. The Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement contains
an innovative clause that identifies under which conditions this premium will be paid, namely upon
delivery of the emission reductions and upon verification that the social plan has been implemented.
Jepirachi Project will contribute to the development of the host indigenous community by financing a series of community-driven projects (Photo: World Bank)