At Punta Aja, there are ten 60 metre masts with 40 metre rotors that produce enough wind-made electricity for Calinzana, Calvi and Ile Rousse. They have an eerie beauty standing above the stark granite landscape not far from the sea.
There is much controversy about wind farms and their ecology. This not least in Corsica, a Mediterranean island where environmental issues are high on the agenda, albeit later than in many other arts of the world, but where man has not devastated it.
Calinzana's wind farm is well sited at Punta Aja, 8 kilometres south of Calvi in a mountain-top position where negative impacts are minimal. Human impact: Aja is virtually unpopulated and the nearest 'habitation' is a campsite 3kms north, but invisible from the wind farm and vice versa. Noise impact: at a distance of 150m and a wind of 8m/sec, the environmental noise is greater than that of the rotors.
Whereas other Corsican wind farms have resulted in much dispute and controversy, the Calinzana wind farm has been built with a high degree of consensus.
The positive benefits apart from energy production, are that there is a consequent reduction of 12 thousand tons of carbon dioxide, 700 tons of cinders, 50 tons of sulphuric acid and 50 tons of nitrates a year.
Operated by Corseol, the farm has 10 Enercon E-40 wind mills capable of producing 6MW (15 million KW/year) - enough energy for about 8 000 four person households. Corsica is a mountainous region and wind speeds vary widely and the grid system is prone to fluctuations and failures. The Enercon wind mills use software that allows them to remain connected to the grid in spire of voltage drops of more than 50% for 0.5 seconds or more. the whole operation is remotely controlled by computer.
Corseol, the company, was set up in 1998 and the farm started operations in 2004. The company run by Ludwig Hoffmann, used as many local contractors as possible in the construction of the farm - about 35% of the total cost of 7.5 million euros - has gone to local businesses and the business has local investors and seeks more.
For those of you who'd like more technical detail, click here and download a product datasheet on the Enercon E-40 wind generators. You will need the Acrobat Reader program , which you can download also for free, if you don't have it.
If you want any more pointers to enjoying a visit to Calinzana, you could do worse than asking us. If you'd like to visit more of Corsica, then go to Corsica Isula - a website with a vast coverage of all aspects of Corsica.
calinzana.corsica-isula.com © 2005 William Keyser