Friday, 26 July 2013

Mongolia opens $122 million wind farm with aim to cut pollution
6 Jun 2013

Mongolia is scheduled to start operations at its first wind farm this month, a $122 million project that's the biggest power plant in 30 years and part of a government effort to cap pollution cloaking the capital city.

The 50 MW facility developed by Clean Energy LLC using 31 turbines from General Electric Co. (GE) is located on a wind-raked ridge about 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Ulaanbaatar. Sengee Enkh-Amgalan, the company's chief executive officer, plans to officially start the plant on June 20.

Mongolia is seeking alternatives to fossil fuels such as coal that power its industry and mines. The government has set a target to get 20% to 25% of its energy from renewables by 2020, up from less than 2% currently. Coal supplies about 80% of the nation's energy.

"In order to meet the 20% goal, the government really has to support these kinds of enterprises", said Enkh-Amgalan, adding that he expects the government will subsidize the costs of wind power in order to make it affordable.

smog from burning coal has choked the capital in recent months, causing the World Health Organisation to name Ulaanbaatar the second-worst city for air quality behind Ahvaz in western Iran. Residents use coal to heat homes when winter temperatures plunge to minus 30 Fahrenheit.

Clean Energy says the wind park will save 122,000 tons of coal, 1.6 million tons of water and will eliminate 180,000 tons of CO₂ emissions each year.

Read More…