Wind power in Chile, works for the Ancud Wind Farm

In the midst of the strong economic crisis that Chile is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President of the Republic announced during his last public account that they would begin as a Government a strong work to prioritize a series of public and private investment projects with the objective of reactivating the growth of the country, bringing interesting news to the Big Island of Chiloé.

According to the information available to La Opinion de Chiloé, an area of 31.92 hectares is to be intervened, which will include up to 32 underground interconnected wind turbines with a maximum capacity of 4.5 MW of power each.

Thus, as a whole, a theoretical generation capacity of up to 120 MW at least is estimated, that is, the electricity consumption of approximately 137,000 families.

The project site considers different agricultural properties in or close to the rural towns of Pumanzano, Llanco, Huillinco and Choroihue de Ancud, among others, and which have a high degree of intervention due to the presence of livestock activity.

Indeed, according to the information available to La Opinion de Chiloé, among the 220 registered projects, there are at least 138 that will be prioritized for reactivation between 2021 and 2022, with a relatively dormant multi-million dollar clean wind energy initiative, the called «Ancud Wind Farm».
Approved on April 16, 2012 by the Environmental Assessment Commission in the Los Lagos Region —with some subsequent technical modifications that were approved on August 7, 2013— this wind farm remained on standby for the last few years until the September 29, 2017 changed hands to a well-known Austrian-owned company.

The move, which La Opinion of Chiloé was able to confirm was made privately before a Santiago Notary Public, allowed the energy group AustrianSolar Chile Siete SpA to assume ownership of the project after acquiring it from Viento Austral SpA, a subsidiary of Callis Energía Chile belonging to the Hungarian Callis.

Then, on March 23, 2018, the transfer was made official, initiating a revaluation of the technical-economic feasibility that was positive.

This multi-million dollar non-conventional renewable energy generation project considers an investment that was estimated at 250 million dollars during the evaluation process.

In addition, already in operation, and according to information available to La Opinion de Chiloé, the coffers of the Municipality of Ancud could receive a total of around 6,480 million nominal pesos corresponding to the payment of patents for the entire useful life (around $ 1,128 million pesos in terms of current value after adjusting it to the social discount rate of 6%), although as long as the municipality initiates the corresponding procedures so that it is paid in the commune and not in Las Condes, where the owner is domiciled .

According to the government, the tentative start date for construction is February 8, 2021, with potential operations starting on October 17, 2021. It is thus part of the 138 projects that are intended to be prioritized through sectoral policies, streamlining procedures or encouraging the start of works, which together are equivalent to an amount of 24,500 million dollars. Of these initiatives, 69 correspond to the Energy sector, with a total of 10,760 million dollars, being the Ancud wind farm one of them.

The construction of a High Voltage Line (220kV) is not included since its location is in the area of the Melipulli-Chiloé line, thus facilitating its connection and avoiding the need to build a transmission line.

The new Wind Farm will include the enabling of approximately 8.7 kilometers of new inland roads and the improvement of 10.39 kilometers of existing roads in order to allow access for machinery and wind turbines from routes W-151, W- 315 and W-319 to the sector of each platform.

In addition, a control and maintenance office will be built that will house the Supervision and Monitoring Room of the wind farm and substation, and an electrical substation on an area of two hectares.

In the construction phase, the hiring of a maximum of 100 people is projected, while another four are for the operation phase.

It is estimated that the wind farm will have a useful life of 30 years. From the company they assure that «at the end of that period an evaluation will be carried out that will decide whether a general maintenance and technological update is convenient (which will strictly adjust to the environmental regulations that must be followed for that time) that allows to keep the park in operation for a few more years, with the necessary maintenance and adjustments to maintain its proper operability, otherwise the facilities will be dismantled and the land used by the project facilities will be recovered ».
“In the event of having to execute a phase of abandonment of the project, we will proceed to dismantle and remove all those structures that can be dismantled or removed, including wind turbines, warehouses, workshops, offices, etc. Likewise, all equipment, furniture and appliances used in the operation of the plant will be removed, “he added.

Regarding the roads and disused areas that may remain, these would be closed “to prevent the passage of third parties,” they explain.

«The afforestation or planting of those areas free of constructions will be carried out. All waste resulting from this process will be disposed of in authorized places “, they add.