Argentina Opens First-Ever Wind Energy Plant (Impsa)

Windy days can do more than chap cheeks, tousle clothes and wreck havoc on a good hair day. Blustery days can also produce electricity and Argentina is poised to make that easier with the debut of its first-ever wind turbine manufacturing plant, in the Mendoza province, beginning in July.

Impsa, an Argentine renewable energy provider and largest wind power generator in Latin America, will begin by producing 150 wind turbines each year in the city of Godoy Cruz, according to a statement released by the local government.

After the first six months, the Godoy Cruz plant is expected to double its manufacturing output, the statement said.

Less than two percent of Argentina’s electricity comes from renewable sources today, according to the Latin American Energy Review.

But since taking office, President Macri has been pushing to increase renewable energy sources.

In May, Macri launched Plan RenovAr, a plan to focus on developing sources of clean energy, especially solar and wind power.

“We must be committed to reducing carbon emissions, and Argentina has a lot to contribute and produce in terms of renewable energies,” Macri said in an interview with The Argentine Independent, at the event of the program launch in May. “Our country has enormous potential. We are among the leading countries able to generate solar and wind energy.”

Argentina has failed to meet targets for renewable energy. In 2006, the Argentine government set the goal of obtaining eight percent renewable energy by 2016 through Law 26,190.

This law was later modified in October 2015, days before last year’s presidential election, pushing back the eight percent deadline to 2017 and setting an additional, longer-term target of 20 percent renewables by 2025.

Impsa has begun the production of 26 wind turbines at the plant that will be installed at the already-operational Arauco wind farm in the province of La Rioja.

Arauco is expected to be Argentina’s largest wind farm once the final phase of construction is complete.