Wind energy in Chile: Goldwind to build a wind farm

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd, a leading Chinese wind power manufacturer, is set to develop a 70-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Chile.

According to an agreement signed with global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power, the two companies will establish a 50/50 joint venture to build the first phase of the Ckani Wind Farm in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chicago-based Goldwind USA, a subsidiary of Goldwind, will supply 47 units of GW87/1.5MW wind turbines.

The Ckani wind farm has a total potential capacity of 240 MW and has been in development by Mainstream since 2009. It will be connected to the SING Electrical System and the construction on the first 70-mW phase is expected to start by the end of 2012.

"We are delighted to see such tremendous progress in a short period of time," said Wang Haibo, executive vice president of Goldwind and CEO of Goldwind International.

Mainstream Chief Executive Eddie O’Connor also described the wind farm in Chile as "an exciting project" with Goldwind.

In recent years, Chinese wind turbine makers have eyed the world market due to a surplus in domestic production capacity.

With over 80 wind turbine makers, China is able to produce 35 gigawatts (gW) wind turbines a year, if planned production capacities are put into operation. But over the next five years, the Chinese domestic market can consume only about 15 gW turbines a year under the renewable development objectives, according to the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA).

The CWEA says unit price quotes for Chinese wind turbines are 20-30 percent lower than those of their foreign counterparts in the world market.

Well matched with international counterparts in technology and services, Chinese wind turbine makers are also managing to edge into the world market to improve their brands and seek greater development potential.

According to the CWEA, Chinese wind turbine makers signed more turbine supply deals with foreign countries in 2011 than they managed in total from 2007 to 2010.