ACCIONA Energía has won a tender called by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) for the purchase of electricity from a 50 MW wind park in Costa Rica. ACCIONA will design, construct and operate the Chiripa wind park (capacity 49.5 MW) following an investment of 125 million US dollars (90 million euros at the current exchange rate). The award enables the Company to incorporate another country into its renewable energy program worldwide.
ACCIONA presented its bid together with the local company Grupo Ecoenergía, which holds a 35% stake in the development company; ACCIONA holds the remaining 65%. The wind park is planned for the municipality of Tilarán (Guanacaste province) in north-western Costa Rica, and will consist of thirty-three 1.5 MW wind turbines using ACCIONA Windpower technology.
The award involves the signature of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement and the materialization of the wind farm through the BOT (build, operate and transfer) formula. Under the agreement, the developer will design, build and operate the wind park for the 20 years of its duration. Once this period is over, the ownership of the facility will be transferred to the ICE.
ACCIONA expects to start construction work on the wind park at the end of 2012 and put it into service in around one year, i.e. towards the end of 2013. Once grid connected, the Chiripa wind park -located on a site with a strong wind resource- will produce over 200 million kilowatt-hours in an average year.
The materialization of the Chiripa wind park will drive the incipient wind power development of Costa Rica -with an installed capacity of 179 MW at the end of 2010- and will contribute to the government’s strategic objective of reducing the country’s carbon footprint.
The wind park will enable ACCIONA Energía to include a new country in its process of internationalization. At the end of the first semester of the year, the wind power capacity owned by the company outside Spain was around 2,000 MW, 30% of the total; this figure will increase significantly at the end of the year.
ACCIONA now owns and operates wind parks in Europe (Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Hungary and Greece); America (USA, Canada and Mexico), Asia (India and South Korea) and Oceania (Australia). It is currently building a wind park in Poland and has installed others for customers in France and Morocco.
In Latin America, ACCIONA leads the wind power sector in Mexico, with 556 MW owned and installed in that country (all in the state of Oaxaca). In 2009 it put the Eurus (250.50 MW) wind park into service, a self-sufficient project developed in collaboration with the cement company Cemex. In 2011 it has built another three wind parks, which will enter service in December this year.