Bolivia opens China-built wind farm

Bolivia on Thursday opened its first wind power facility, constructed by Chinese firm HydroChina at a cost of $7.6 million.

“Today we are delivering to the Bolivian people … the country’s first wind energy station,” President Evo Morales said at an event in the rural town of Qollpana, in Cochabamba state, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of La Paz.

The wind farm will generate three megawatts of energy per hour for the town’s 24,000 inhabitants.

Most of Bolivia’s energy production is thermal and hydroelectric, but Morales said that could change in the future.

He said plans in the near term are to double the production at the small Qollpana facility.

Energy Minister Juan Jose Sosa said that the government is taking measurements of wind speeds around Bolivia to determine the best potential locations for additional wind energy installations.

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