Bolivia Seeks Financing for Two Wind Farms

Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (ENDE) of Bolivia is developing a pilot project to generate wind power in the altiplano region. The project envisages a generating capacity of 5 MW and is currently considering several funding options for the U$S 12.5 million required.

This venture is developed based on information provided by a joint investigation by the Vice Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energies of Bolivia and Transportadora de Electricidad SA (TDE), which identified the areas with greatest potential to generate energy by the power of wind in Bolivia.

As stated by ENDE’s general manager, at this time they define the location of the first wind turbine, they hope to install it by the end of the year.

The president expressed interest in taking advantage of wind technology that has developed in Germany. This happened during a ceremony at Government House, in which the Federal Republic of Germany and the World Bank formalized funding for development projects in Bolivia for U$S 180 million.

Deputy Electricity Minister Miguel Yagüe told reporters that the country will need some $50 million to develop both wind power projects and said that “some preliminary accords (have been reached) with Germany.”

Initial plans are to install the wind farms in the towns of Viru Viru, in eastern Santa Cruz province, and Patacamaya, 109 kilometers (68 miles) south of La Paz on the road to Oruro province, Yagüe said, adding that those are areas “with good wind potential.”

He said that in addition to funding, the country needs to develop rules to regulate the operation of the service and the feed remuneration.

“Since it’s an energy that can’t be (controlled or predicted) and the implementation costs are a little high, we need to think of a remuneration scheme that is a good signal for those wanting to invest in this type of energy,” he said.

The state-run National Electricity Company, or Ende, will be responsible for coming up with the plans for both projects and carrying them out.

Morales asked the German government in August to provide technological support for wind energy projects in the country and to assist his administration’s efforts to bring electrical power to towns that still lack this service.