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Cabeolica Project was completed last March 2012 and is producing wind energy in Cape Verde

The archipelago of Cape Verde offers, as well as wonderful landscapes, one of the best locations for wind energy production. Is an area with constant wind velocity of 10 m/s. In 1994 wind power was first introduced and provided so far only 2% of the country’s energy needs. Cape Verde is a country dependent on imported fuel that besides polluting is costly and sensitive to price fluctuations and transported between islands can become a challenge. The power supply has been unstable, and the inhabitants used to cope with regular power cuts.

Finally in early 2011, after a decade of groundwork, the construction of the wind farms has started on four of the islands of Cape Verde. This project, owned by Cabeólica, consists of four wind farms on the islands of Boa Vista, São Vicente, Sal and Santiago, with a total of thirty wind turbines, spread over the four islands, with capacity to produce up to 25.5 MW of renewable energy and to benefit nearly 95% of 425,000 inhabitants.

The project fits into the strategy of the Cape Verdian government to increase the share of renewable energies in the archipelago to 25% by 2011 and to 50% by 2020.

This project was developed by all the 5 investors Infraco Ltd., AFC, Finnfund, Government of Cabo Verde and Electra, as a public-private partnership with the government of Cape Verde and Electra (national power utility). The project of 65 million Euros was financed with equity from InfraCo Africa, Finnfund and the African Finance Corporation, and debt financing provided by the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.

This project was awarded the 2011 Best Renewable Project in Africa at the Africa Energy Awards. The Cape Verde based project was singled out for being the first commercial scale Public Private Partnership (PPP) wind farm in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This project is unique in the region and following I present some of the reasons why:

  • Being the first commercial scale project of its type it required a sophisticated adaptation of the usual Project Finance models to the local regulatory framework.
  • Received great interest from investors and lenders mostly due to the sudden propelling of the country into a leadership position in wind power generation in the region.
  • Because it of the kind of financing it was seeking, the project looked to set the highest possible environmental assessment standards, and in doing so, went well beyond local requirements; including conducting stakeholder meetings prior to submission of the EIA (not required by Cape Verdian legislation) and creating a thorough Environmental and Social Management Plan for the 20 years of envisioned lifetime. This ESMP includes the generous integration of various conservation and educational programs beyond the immediate responsibility of the company. The work conducted for our EIA was featured in a presentation during a BWEA conference.

For the successful development of this project there were some technical challenges that needed to be overcome. As already mentioned the project is divided in four islands meaning that the integration of the wind power is done to four different grids, each with its own complex issues. In order to understand the restrains it was conducted a dynamic power analysis to the four different grids.

Another important challenge is to be able to overcome grid limitations, as we are talking of four small and isolated grids and in some cases with very old equipment and without any dispatch center.

While Government and Electra are struggling to gather the conditions to implement an automatic dispatch center and to modernize the grid infrastructure, personnel capacitating have been a very important piece to minimize the constrains as this project was for the first time contemplating migration from almost 100% diesel to a wind/diesel mix.

To ensure the success of this project the developers of Cabeólica has engaged third-party specialists including world leaders in wind analysis: RISO and consultancy SKM, CME, Megajoule, etc….

On April 20th of 2012 was inaugurated the last and smallest wind farm, three turbines, on the island of Boa Vista and participated in the event the Prime Minister Dr. José Maria Neves, Minister of Industry and Energy Dr. Humberto Brito, project partners and other guests.

In four inaugurations chaired by Mr. Prime Minister the common denominator of his speech was the concern demonstrated by the Government about the importance for Cape Verde to have access to cheaper energy and clean. The lack of water and electricity and the high price has been a major obstacle for economic development and employment creation and thus one of the main reasons for the exodus of the population.

Although tourism has been increasing over the past decades, and Cape Verde can already count with large international tourism chains, is the population common sense that there could be more foreign investment in this area if the country could offered better conditions (energy and water) that not only would help to increase the tourism as to increase the jobs. It is now still a reality that many Cape Verdian continue to leave the country in search of employment and a brighter future.

Successful completion of this project, which was extremely challenging in terms of construction by a variety of reasons: constant winds, bureaucratic and logistical difficulties, lack of local material resources, etc., was only made possible by the high commitment and professionalism of everyone involved, being very important the continued support by the government in expediting the process.

The project was built under an EPC contract by the world’s leading manufacturer, Vestas, and counted with the participation of several Portuguese and Spanish companies.

It was very rewarding for me to have taken part in this project in which I had the opportunity to know an amazing country, of unique characteristics, and whose people know how so well receive those coming from outside, while also having the opportunity to work with global companies and professionals with wide experience in the development and implementation of renewable projects.

My contribution to this project was to monitor, on behalf of the owner (Cabeólica) the execution and performance of the EPC contract between the Cabeólica and Vestas, as being outsourced as the resident engineer by Cabeólica.

My primary role was to monitor the construction of the wind project on behalf of the owner. This involves oversight of an EPC, preserve Owner’s rights and manage risks and Owner obligations. This includes the coordination of the review and comment of detailed EPC contractor engineering drawings, specifications and document submittals.
Overall management responsibility over worksite safety to ensure an accident free project.
Reviewing, monitoring and assessing the contractor’s compliance with the technical specifications. Ensure Contractor compliance with QA/QC obligations under the associated contract. Manage completion and testing of the facility in accordance with the Power Purchase Agreement and associated contracts. Lead the hiring of Owner’s field staff, as required, to ensure adequate resources are in place for effective and timely execution of the projects.

I have also aided with Environmental and Health and Safety monitoring during construction and helped Cabeólica in implementing its Health and Safety Policies and Regulations.

Currently completed the construction of all wind farms and all in operation phase, Cabeólica is selling the produced energy to the national power utility, representing about a quarter of the electrical power in the country.

The remaining generation capacity is based on diesel engines. The project gave to four islands a hybrid wind-diesel power system, with high penetration levels. It has been already registered 50% penetration of wind power on the island of Sao Vicente.

”The large proportion of wind power makes management difficult. Together with our customer Electra, we are now concentrating on optimizing the power supply so that the grid remains stable while obtaining the maximum benefit from the wind farms,” says the CEO of Cabeólica Herkko Lehdonvirta.

Providing about 25% of the energy of this country and contributing to a reduction of the cost of the power generation by approximately 20%, Cabeólica should be proud for the great significance and impact of this project, for all Cape Verdeans who can count now with a better quality of living through more and better access to energy and also water, which is produced by desalting, to which energy is needed.

Finally I would like to share it was for me an honor be able to contribute in a project of such importance and relevance as this for the economy and quality of life of all Cape Verdian.

Patricia Santos




Portuguese version of the article


We all have dreams!

Cabeolica Wind Farm - Cape Verde

We all have dreams, things we’d like to do or see happen, right?

These are dreams that drive us and give us strength to every day do what we know that has to be done.

And now finally one day our dream came true! … What happens? What we feel?

I venture to say that we would all answer that we are happy, fulfilled, pleased, euphoric … but for how long?

In fact the WHAT’s (dreams, goals) of our lives are important, since they help to define what has to be done and it helps keep the focus in the direction we want to follow.

But is this enough to feel satisfied, fulfilled and happy?

How long we celebrate the achievement of the WHAT’s? 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week?

Could the WHY’s be able to help?

And what are the WHY’s?

As the word itself suggests are the reasons / causes for which we want to achieve those dreams, and the more these WHY’s are aligned with our purpose in life the more powerful the dream will become and more fulfilling the accomplish will be, WHY?

Because we realize that is not only the accomplishment of the dream that satisfies us and fulfil us, contributing to our self-esteem, but also and mainly all the way to achieve it, because every day we are doing things that are according to our values and contribute to our purpose, and that’s when we realized that is not only achieving the goal or accomplishing the dream that becomes rewarding, because that scale of our lives are miserable milliseconds, but the whole course of our life becomes rewarding!

Having goals and dreams is essential, but without defining the WHY’s we run the risk of living a life on the hunt for goals and dreams in order to feel fulfil, because if we only feel reward with the achievement, we will feel grateful only in a small part of our lives.

Like everything in life, music has a beginning and an end, but for it to be successful has to be sung and played from start to finish with PASSION and with the purpose in mind!

If you accomplished to read up to this point you must be wondering why all this philosophy … because this is the story of my life, made of a lot of WHAT’s and with very strong WHY’s.

Do I consider myself as a successful person? No, I would not define myself that way, I consider to be a person with a lot of successful moments in my life but also some failures however failures do not discourage me, on the contrary they give me strength because whenever it happen I try to see why I flawed and that makes me become even more stronger. The growing process that makes me feel that I can BE better and DO better is what fulfils me.

To me the reward of achieving the dream is the fun I have in overcoming the obstacles, in defying the odds, to be imaginative finding solutions, to motivate those who are on my way to fight for the common goal, in learning more about me and the others, in making others believe and trust in me and my work, to know that I have given my best, to feel that I gave something of me that will forever change something or someone and most of all to enjoy and feel passion for what I’m doing!

I have a lot of moments in my life that could exemplify what I have just written but today I’m going to share the most recent episode in my life.

March 22nd of 2011: I had been mother for the second time about 3 months ago when Matthew Duffy (Amida Recruitment Ltd) contacted me because he needed an experienced project manager for Cape Verde and the role was to ensure the client (wind farm owner) the compliance of the EPC contract, monitoring the technical, quality and schedule compliance and along the process support the client to start-up the company building up and training the team.

For some time that I had the ambition of working on an international project and as contractor however this could not have been the worst moment for the dream to come true.

Most people might be thinking that I refused this opportunity. Did I?

NO! And WHY?

Because I have a WHAT (dream) and several WHY’s.

The WHAT is that I want to start-up my own engineering company and however this opportunity was not exactly my dream I knew that it was a dot that would somehow connect to the future I wanted.

Quoting Steve Jobs: “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Some of the WHY’s are:

1) I know my time is limited and I don’t want to waste it living someone else’s life.

2) I want to be the best in what I do and that is only possible if I keep challenging myself doing different things with different people

3) I love the idea of being useful helping other to be better and there is nothing that makes me more proud than a trainee coming to me and teach me something new

4) I want to provide the best future I can to my daughters and I would not let my destiny faith in any employer. If you want something done, do it yourself!

So what did I do with the WHAT and the WHY’s? I chase the support. My first challenge would be to sell my dream to my family.

And this was my first success however I have to admit that it was possible only because I have a wonderful family in particular a great man as husband and a caring mother and last but not the least amazing friends!

April 6th of 2011: Here I’m at the airport in Porto looking to my ticket to Praia (Cape Verde) and wondering what the hell I’m doing? I’m going to a country I don’t know, going to be away from my family and friends, away from the comfort of my home, I can only be crazy! Was I crazy? NO, well maybe a little bit, but some madness is what we need to go for our dreams. So I was chasing my dream and then it cross my mind that on the next day I would be in a beautiful country with white sand, blue water, palm tree and wonderful weather, what could go wrong?

Next day I was meeting the persons with who I was going to work for the next 12 months and I had very good welcome. Regarding the beautiful country I knew from the holiday post cards I quickly found out that I was in the wrong island, the tourism islands are Sal and Boa Vista and I was in Santiago so there was no white sand, no blue water and no palm trees. So I said to myself: ok, no problem, I’m not that big fan of going to the beach, so let’s keep going!

On the following day when I arrive to the office there was no electricity but everyone was acting quite normally, working with the laptops as long as the battery would allow them.

During my first 2 weeks in Cape Verde I have experienced more blackouts and lack of water than during my entire life however that did not seem to stress out no one else.

April 21st of 2011: Here I’m back home in Portugal after 2 weeks in Cape Verde thinking to myself I have survived. A lot of thoughts were crossing my mind that somehow was disturbing my focus. At the material level what I had found was a completely different reality from what I was used to in Portugal, I have found a country were a lot of basic things were missing or sometimes existed but not easy to get and usually at a very high price and I also found out that almost all of the luxuries are inexistence in Cape Verde. There were moments that I thought to myself: I’m going to make it, been away from the family? And for a brief moment the thought of not returning came my mind but then I thought: ok you might not have the white sand, the blue sea water, the palm trees, sometimes the electricity, sometimes the water at home, the shopping stores, the cinema, fast internet on your mobile phone, all the TV channels, but you have a challenging international project, excellent colleagues that are willing to absorb all the knowledge you can give them, colleagues that are relying on you so you cannot let them down and mostly important you can’t let down yourself by giving up, so start seen the positive side, you will have the opportunity to know more people, a different culture, excellent food, you will be able to appreciate the sea every day, etc..

So I started my endeavour supported by my wonderful family and surrounded by excellent professionals with who I’m sharing my knowledge but also from who I’m learning.

I have experienced a lot of rewarding moments not just because I got the feeling that I have forever changed someone but also because I have changed the way I look to the things now, I have a completely different perspective about what is really essential.

One of my big lessons is that happiness is not on what you have but in what you are and what you give out of yourself.

However it’s a country with a lot of missing things what I have witness was persons giving value to their health by doing sports and mainly not stressing for nothing, giving value to their family by keeping the balance between work and life and spending quality time with the family.

Jan 20th of 2012: Here I’m on my biweekly return home and doing this interesting retrospective thinking on the great moments in which I made the difference and also in the persons that inspired and supported me along this process. I must give a special thanks to Ian Forster because he was always concerned about the way I was feeling knowing that I was missing my family VERY VERY much and he gave me an unstoppable and unconditional support during the project that helped a lot to overcome the painful missing of my family and to keep the focus.

Herkko Lehdonvirta is the other person that I need to thank for all that I have learned from him and for how much he has appreciated and recognized my work. He is the CEO of Cabeólica been a very experienced manager and a natural pacifier. With him I learned to improve my first judgement in stressful situations and learn that even in extreme situations the hard way sometimes is not the only way to go, a more pacific approach can sometimes be as well effective.

For all the patience she had to hear me in those moments when I most missed my family and by the enthusiasm which she always enjoyed listening the knowledge I had to share my special thanks to Miriam Caetano.

My deep gratitude to my friends Ana and Miguel for all the support they gave to minimize my daughters sorrow by my absence, without you it would not be the same!

Now going back to the dream, 9 months have pass and you must be wondering what the developments are …

When I sold the dream to my family I have taken my first step to my dream: I had legally created my company! And some months later I also manage to motivate my husband to embrace this project.

Together we have developed the website of the company and sold the dream to our friend Miguel. We are now 3 engineers with the common dream: deliver the best results in the world, having fun doing it!

We are now in the phase of selling, selling and selling and we have already managed to sell a project that will allow us to hire our first employee of the many more that will come.

Other projects are already in the pipeline and I’m positive that step by step we will become thousands of engineers having a lot of fun!

So finally but not the least I need to give a very special thank to Matthew Duffy for been the very special dot that connected me to my dream. It was a very hard and long negotiation for this to happen and without Matthew creativity and excellent work that would not have been possible.

Matthew my very special thanks for helping my dream to come true and look forward for the day when you will start providing your clients PACman and PACwoman.

on the top of a nacelle

By the way my company is PACGER and I’m the first PACwoman!

Patricia Santos



Apartamento T3 Nogueiro, Braga – 123311075-171

apartamento T3 nogueiro centro nanotecnologia
Condo/Apartment – T3 – For Sale – Nogueiro, Braga – 123311075-171. Excelente Apartamento T3 em Nogueiró (centro nanotecnologia), muito bem situado e com bons acessos. Perto do Novo Hospital de Braga, Braga Parque, Universidade do Minho e centro de nanotecnologia. Excelente construção e exposição solar, situado num local sossegado com vistas fantásticas. Este apartamento contém as seguintes características: – Garagem individual para 1 carro; – Recuperador de calor; – Aquecimento central; – Vídeo Porteiro; – Varanda Corrida; – 1 Suite com banheira de hidromassagem e roupeiro; – Estores Elétricos; – Porta de Segurança; – Casa de banho completa; – Roupeiro de apoio; – 2 quartos com roupeiro; – Cozinha Mobilada e Equipada com Placa, Forno, Máquina de lava loiça, Maquina de lavar roupa, Microondas, Combinado, Caldeira; – Ar Condicionado – Sala. Venha conhecer esta excelente oportunidade de negócio. A Remax Business está à sua total disposição para o ajudar a comprar este apartamento T3 em Nogueiró (centro nanotecnologia) – Braga!!!! Aproveite já!!! PORQUÊ COMPRAR COM A REMAX? VANTAGENS … Muitas vezes, o comprar casa parece ser muito mais complicado do que é na realidade. Somos especialistas em trabalhar com pessoas que estão a comprar uma casa e gostariamos de lhe mostrar de que forma poderá comprar a sua casa. Não existem quaisquer obrigações ou custos inerentes. Por favor contacte-me para marcarmos uma reunião, na qual poderá colocar qualquer questão que possa ter, relativamente ao processo de compra de uma casa e agendar a visita a este imóvel. 1. AVALIAÇÃO DAS NECESSIDADES DO CLIENTE – Qualificação de necessidades habitacionais e financeira 2. APÓS RESERVA – Apresentação das melhores soluções financeiras para aquisição do imóvel – Apoio no processo de financiamento (se requerido) – Presença na avaliação do imóvel – Apoio na marcação e realização do CPCV (Contrato Promessa Compra e Venda) – Apoio na marcação e realização da escritura publica de compra e venda. O Grupo RE/MAX Business, conta com mais de 100 profissionais especializados, agradece aos clientes a confiança demonstrada no nosso trabalho, o que nos permite ser hoje uma referência Nacional. Ao seu dispor, dedicando todo o dia de trabalho para lhe prestar um serviço de excelência! Estou à sua total disposição para o ajudar a comprar este apartamento T3 em Nogueiró (centro nanotecnologia) – Braga!!!! Aproveite já!!!

Recognition of our work .. it feels so good :)

Thanks to all that helped, supported and trusted to follow my lead to success 🙂

Desafios e oportunidades no aproveitamento eólico em Cabo Verde

Desafios e oportunidades no aproveitamento eólico em Cabo Verde.

porQUÊ? a importância dos porquê’s dos QUÊs da nossa vida!

Todos nós temos sonhos, coisas que gostaríamos de realizar ou de ver acontecer, certo?

São esses sonhos que nos movem e dão força para todos os dias fazermos aquilo que sabemos que tem que ser feito.

E eis que finalmente um dia o nosso sonho se concretiza!! … o que acontece? o que sentimos?

Arrisco-me  a dizer que todos nós respondemos sentimo-nos felizes, realizados, satisfeitos, eufóricos … mas por quanto tempo??

De facto os QUÊ‘s (sonhos, objectivos) da nossa vida são importantes, uma vez  que ajudam a definir o que tem que ser feito e isso ajuda a manter o focus na direcção que queremos seguir.

Mas será isto suficiente para nos sentirmos satisfeitos, realizados, felizes?

Durante quanto tempo celebramos a concretização dos QUÊ‘s? 1 hora, 1 dia, 1 semana?

Será que os porQUÊ‘s poderão ajudar?

E o que são os porQUÊ‘s?

Como a própria palavra indica são as razões/causas pelas quais nós queremos realizar esses sonhos, e quanto mais esses porQUÊ‘s estiverem alinhados com o nosso propósito de vida mais poderoso se torna o sonho e mais gratificante se vai tornar a realização do mesmo, PORQUÊ?

Porque percebemos que não é apenas a realização do sonho que nos satisfaz e realiza, contribuindo para a nossa auto-estima, mas também e fundamentalmente todo o percurso para a realização do mesmo, pois diariamente estamos a fazer coisas que estão de acordo como nossos valores e a contribuir para o nosso propósito, e é então que percebemos que não é apenas atingir o objectivo ou realizar o sonho que se torna gratificante, pois isso à escala da nossa vida são míseros milissegundos, mas sim todo o percurso da nossa vida se torna gratificante!

Ter objectivos e sonhos é fundamental mas sem definir os porQUÊ‘s corremos o risco de viver uma vida à caça de objectivos e sonhos para nos sentirmos realizados pois se é apenas no momento da concretização que nos sentimos realizados, apenas nos vamos sentir gratificados numa pequena parte da nossa vida.

Considerando no extremo, uma pessoa obcecada por objectivos e sonhos e que os realiza tendo portanto uma vida repleta de momentos de sucesso, será que ela se sente uma pessoa de sucesso? Ou será que vê a sua vida como um realizador de filmes? Que sabe que tem que fazer muitos takes para apanhar o momento perfeito para depois o produtor apagar os que não interessam?

Como queremos que seja a nossa vida? Repleta de picos de sucesso com apagões pelo meio ou uma vida equilibrada de satisfação, realização e sucesso?

Partilho um vídeo muito interessante sobre o tema que foi partilhado no grupo Online Motivator do Linkedin em que faz a comparação da vida com a musica.

Como tudo na vida, a música tem um início e um fim, mas para que ela seja de sucesso tem que ser tocada e cantada do início ao fim com PAIXÃO e tendo o seu propósito em mente!

Patricia Santos

O que é o Sistema de Activação Reticular (SAR)?

Explicação por Paulo de Vilhena (Director Geral actionCOACH Portugal)


Veja o video em …


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