Wind energy in El Salvador: Metapán wind power project has 30% progress

The Ventus wind farm with Vestas wind turbines that is built in Metapán, first of its kind in El Salvador, has a 30% progress and is expected to be operational for the last quarter of next year.

Christopher Kafie Hasbún, representative of Ventus, explained that “much of the progress in a wind power project has to do with the supply of specialized equipment such as wind turbines” and that one of the great challenges will be transportation from the Port of Acajutla to Metapán .

There will be 15 towers 120 meters high each with three 67-meter blades that will come to the country in one piece and generate about 170 gigawatt hours per year (GWh)

Ventus is owned by the Tracia Network Corporation which was awarded the supply of 50 megawatts (MW) of wind power. Once the wind energy project is finished, it will inject the equivalent of the average consumption of 80,000 homes, with the advantage of being a clean technology.

The tender was for 170 MW for wind energy and solar energy. Ventus was the only bidder of wind technology that won, the rest of the power awarded was for photovoltaic projects. They offered a price of $ 98.78 per megawatt hour (MWh), below the ceiling price.

This is the price within the electricity market, not the final user fee, although matrix diversification does result in better prices to users. Wind energy, in addition to implying avoiding the annual emission of some 200,000 tons of CO2, has the advantage that it is not affected by the volatility of oil prices, as opposed to thermal.

In addition, it will imply a reduction in the country’s oil bill of about $ 14 million, or about 160,000 barrels.

The construction of the wind farm will generate 400 jobs. Specifically in infrastructure works, there has been an advance of 5%, since the main focus for the moment has been in the engineering phase and in the parts. Along these lines, Kafie said that Vestas, a leading Danish company in the area, has been hired.

The work is financed by several banks in El Salvador and Guatemala, including Davivienda for $ 20 million, as well as a $ 10 million loan from Banco Cuscatlán and other funds from the Guatemalan Banco G&T Continental and Banco Agromercantil.

Takashi Sugisawa, director of banking companies at Davivienda, said this is the second wind project they support, since they financed a park in Guatemala with $ 10 million. In addition, they have a portfolio of $ 100 million in photovoltaic projects.

«The experience (in Guatemala) has been very good, so that these projects take place there are wind studies from many previous years and at different heights. The experience was so good that we wanted to finance the first wind farm in the country, ”said the spokesperson for Davivienda.

For his part, José Eduardo Luna, executive director of Banco Csucatlán, added that “this project is of paramount importance for the country, since it not only represents an increase in installed generation capacity to meet the growing demand, but also diversifies the energy matrix, incorporating a new source of renewable generation, such as wind”.