Goldwind wins contract for big Panama wind farm

Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Co Ltd won a $427 million contract to supply a wind farm in Panama, its largest international order, the company said on Friday.

International conglomerate InterEnergy Holdings said it has agreed to invest $427 million in a Panamanian wind-power project that will be that country’s first and the largest in Central America.

The wind farm being built in the central-western town of Penonome by Spanish-owned Union Eolica Panameña will involve a total investment of $564 million, the companies said in a joint statement.

“InterEnergy’s decision to join in the development of the wind farm bolsters the project’s second phase, which is already up and running after the installation and start-up of the first 22 turbines,” UEP CEO Rafael Perez-Pire was quoted as saying.

Those initial turbines began operating last December with a generating capacity of 55 MW, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 20,000 homes, UEP said then.

The deal is for the second stage of a project at Penonome in central Panama and will be financed by Dominican Republic-focused power generation investor InterEnergy Holdings, Goldwind said in a statement.

The Beijing-based company, which Navigant Research placed as the world’s second largest turbine manufacturer in 2013, said the 86-turbine order is its largest international sale to date.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli unveiled the project, which is run by Spanish-owned Union Eolica Panamena (UEP), in August last year. At the time, UEP estimated that the power generated would eventually supply 850,000 people.

The first phase consisted of 22 Goldwind turbines providing 55 megawatts of energy. UEP said on Friday it had spent $137 million in the first phase.

InterEnergy Chief Executive Rolando Gonzalez Bunster told Reuters on Friday that of the 215 megawatts to be generated by the new turbines, 165 megawatts will be contracted to three utilities and 50 megawatts will be sold on the stock market.

The wind farm will be completed by April 2015, he said, and it would be the largest in Central America.