Utila Electric

May 22nd, 2003

[private] Soon Utilans will have a big sale on electric power generators. After three years of work, 780 Utila households will finally get their first taste of electricity. The first electricity day is scheduled for Monday, May 26.

The electricity should come to everyone who didn’t forget to prepay their meters. The “pay as you go” system worries some as they realize the high electric bill Roatanians are paying.

Utila Power Company is based in Utila with investors from US and Honduran and has spent 2.5 million dollars on the project. The return-on-investment is expected in 10-15 years.

The second phase of the electric project will begin in June with a wind farm of two or three, 600-800 kilowatts wind turbines. They will be located in the wind-alley off the airport. The turbines will stand 84 meters tall and have the capacity to carry the entire grid load of the island on most days.

Using a “waste heat” from the energy production UPCO plans to generate pure desalinated water to Utila. “We’ll be purifying initially 15 to 20,000 gallons of fresh water a day with the capacity of going up to about 60 or 70,000 gallons a day,” said Robert Blenker, president of the Utila Power Company. From a town with no electricity, Utila could be the first city in Honduras to have potable water in it’s water system.

An eight kilometer extension and several underwater cables will connect the 120 UPCO customers on the Utila Keys. [/private]

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