Wind Power in Chile-Pattern Energy, wants to build a wind farm in Coquimbo

They reported that in recent days have submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The project is called El Arrayán and provides for the installation of 44 wind turbines in an area of 1,335 hectares, an electrical substation and a transmission line. The total installed capacity of 101 MW and it would supply the Central Interconnected System SIC.

To evaluate this development, they carried out measurement for one year with six anemometers -60 meters height-. Energy Pattern investigator said one reason why they chose the Coquimbo region, is that along with the Bio Bio region are the two areas within the SIC with best wind resources in Chile. This is the twelfth project presented for generating wind energy in that country, which would add 1158 MW in total clean energy.

Enel Green Power signed an agreement with SoWiTec Renewable Energy Chile Ltda, to develop seven wind projects with a capacity total to 850 MW, which will start being built in the coming years.

Enel Green Power, through its subsidiary Enel Latin America (Chile) signed an agreement with SoWiTec Renewable Energy Chile Ltda, a subsidiary of German company- SoWiTec International GmbH- to develop seven wind projects in the Andean country, with a capacity total to 850 MW, which will start being built in the coming years.

Through this agreement, Enel will have exclusive access to several wind energy projects of SoWiTec, and the right to acquire them once they are fully authorized. According to the report, these projects have a preliminary capacity ranging from 60 MW to 150 MW, are located in areas of high wind potential, and will contribute to the Northern Interconnected System (SING) and the Central Interconnected System (SIC) Chile.

Acciona Energy is seeking financing for a wind farm already approved by COREMA

The investment required is U$S 230 million. The farm will be located in the commune of Canela, will have a capacity of 103.5 MW and will supply the Central Interconnected System (SIC).

The company representative also briefed on another project recently approved by the System of Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), of about 100 MW, in the Coquimbo Region, whose investment exceeds U$S 200 million, so they are in the stage of evaluating alternatives to reach a commercial agreement with a company.

The Punta Palmeras wind farm, consisting of 69 turbines of 1.5 MW, will be located north of Los Vilos and west of Route 5 North. The measurements recorded between 2004 and 2008 indicate that the average wind speed in the area is 6.3 meters per second at a height of 80 feet.

Winds of change are blowing in Chile. A group of 30 energy officials – businessmen, engineers, and environmentalists – gathered on Tuesday for an intensive three-day course on the construction of wind parks, hosted by the Chilean-German Commerce Chamber (CAMCHAM).

The meeting, in which investors and developers learn from wind power experts, heralds a revolutionary change in Chile’s energy production means. By the end of the year, five new wind parks will begin operating in Chile, increasing the country’s wind energy production by a factor of 10.

The new wind farms will produce 180 megawatts (MW), dwarfing the 20 MW produced by Chile’s two existing wind farms, Alto Baguales and Spanish energy giant Endesa’s Canela 1, which have been operating since 2001 and 2007, respectively.

“It’s an explosion of growth”, said Rodrigo Garcia, Chilean wind park engineer, and one of the lecturers at the event.

The combined 200 MW that Chile’s wind-farms will produce in 2010 will be enough to cover the energy demands of 900,000 residences.

Chile has great interest in wind energy, but is also somewhat hesitant to fully embrace renewable energy, said Oliver Wendling, another lecturer at the event, and an executive-board member Catalan Association of Wind Energy.

“At the moment, there is a very strong movement in Chile towards the development and generation of new wind power projects,” said the expert.

Chile’s five wind farm projects in construction are all privately funded ventures. Endesa is constructing their second wind farm, “Canela 2”, which will consist of 40 wind-turbines, in Region IV. Also under construction in Region IV are international energy company Suez’s “Monte Redondo,” Norwegian wind energy company Norwind’s “Totoral,” and mining company Barrick’s wind farm in Punta Colorada. In the southern province of Arauco, glass company Cristalerias Toro is constructing a 9 MW wind park, “Lebu”.

And even more wind energy is on its way. According to the National Energy Commission, new wind turbine projects in planning stages will soon generate 1,500 MW for the country’s Central Power Grid.

The largest of these planned wind farms, the Talinay wind park, will have 243 turbines, generating 500 MW of energy.

In comparison, the Ralco hydroelectric dam, in construction on the Biobío river, would generate only slightly more – 690 MW. Chilean energy company AES Gener’s Los Robles coal-fired thermoelectric plant, projected to be the largest coal-plant in Chile, would generate 750 MW.

In a transition away from coal and gas burning to cleaner energy production, said Garcia, Chile has plenty of options, thanks to its wealth of natural resources. “We shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one basket,” said Garcia. “We need to diversify Chile’s energy profile, including other renewable energy methods in addition to wind – solar, geothermal, and ocean.”