Wind power in Chile: Acciona wind turbines for its first wind farm

ACCIONA Energía yesterday inaugurated the Punta Palmeras wind farm in Chile, the first  installed by the company in the country. This will be followed by the construction of wind and photovoltaic plants in Chile up to an overall capacity of 255 MW, with an estimated investment of 400 million euros.



The opening ceremony was  presided over by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who was accompanied by Environment  Minister Pablo Badenier and other authorities. The event was also attended by ACCIONA President José Manuel Entrecanales, ACCIONA Energía CEO Rafael  Mateo, senior executives from the Group and several guests.

The Punta Palmeras wind  farm, located in the municipality of Canela (Coquimbo region) has a capacity of  45 MW. It consists of fifteen 3-megwatt AW 116/3000 turbines of ACCIONA Windpower technology, with the biggest power range of any turbine in service in Chile. The 116-meter-diameter rotors and the nacelles are  mounted on 92-meter-high steel towers.

The electric power produced  by the wind farm – around 124 GWh per year – will be sold to Colbún in the Central Interconnected System (SIC) of Chile under a 12-year contract. The contract may  be extended if the customer wishes.

This level of production, equivalent to the consumption of more than 60,000 Chilean households, will  avoid the emission of 119,000 metric tons of CO2  per year to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations.

In her  intervention, President Bachelet underlined that “it is already a fact, not a promise: Chile is taking firm steps towards diversifying its energy matrix” and pointed out that the investment made by ACCIONA confirms that “the energy sector is a very important source of dynamism for our economy, and we should take advantage of it”. The President added that, through the Energy Agenda set up by her government, “we have emerged from the state of slumber from which  investments in energy suffered, and we have been able to drive many changes that our economy and society urgently needed in the field of energy”.

In his speech, the President of ACCIONA highlighted the attractiveness of Chile for international investors. “You have a stable economy with infrastructure needs, talented  businesspeople and human resources, political and social stability, enormous  quantities of natural resources, and above all, a long and solid tradition of legal certainty and stability. This set of values is not easy to find, and I would even go as far as to say that your ability to attract international investment is practically unlimited”.

New projects

ACCIONA Energía will  strengthen its position as a developer, constructor and operator of wind farms  and photovoltaic plants in Chile following the latest tender called by the  country’s National Energy Commission (CNE). The company was awarded the supply  of 600 GWh of renewable electricity per year to power distributors in the SIC for a period of 15 years from 2018.

To  cover this commitment, ACCIONA Energía will build photovoltaic and wind power  plants with a total capacity of 255 MW and an estimated investment of 400 million euros. Once in service, these facilities will avoid the emission of  576,600 metric tons of CO2 per year from coal-fired power stations.

Apart  from these projects, the company is presently constructing the first phase of  the Pampa Camarones solar farm for E-CL (GDF Suez Group) in the region of Arica and Paranicota, and plans to build new photovoltaic plants for other customers in the next few months.

ACCIONA has been present in Chile in other areas for more than 20 years and has carried  out major projects in the fields of infrastructure and water management. It currently operates the Ruta 160 highway concession  in the south of the country, is building the first desalination plant for the  mining sector in Valle de Copiapó in the Atacama Desert, and has put four wastewater treatment plants into service.