Wind energy in Chile, Engie increases the Vientos del Loa wind farm

Engie Energía Chile submitted an Environmental Impact Statement to the Environmental Assessment Service on Tuesday to update the wind power of the Vientos del Loa wind farm, from 126.5 MW already admitted, to a total installed capacity of approximately 204.6 MW.

This translates into the installation of 33 wind turbines with an individual capacity of up to 6.2 MW, where the energy produced will be evacuated to the 26.5 km transmission system and the Moctezuma lifting substation located inside the same wind farm.

The project, at an approximate cost of US $ 246 million, will satisfy the growing industrial energy demand of the National Electric System (SEN) and the modifications that will be made are adapted to environmentally approved land and surfaces and therefore no new interventions are considered sectors, the company specified.

The general manager of Engie Energía Chile, Axel Levêque, stated that “this update implies continuing to advance in our energy transition process, which considers a challenging asset rotation plan, mainly oriented to the development of solar and wind initiatives.”

He added that “in parallel, we are moving forward with the completion of our coal-fired units, where we have already committed the closure of 800 MW by 2024 and the diversification of the portfolio of our PPAs (power purchase agreements) of green corporations”
From this operation, Engie indicated that it will continue to increase its generation capacity based on renewable energy, in line with the company’s transformation process that includes the development of a series of projects of this type, for around 1 GW.

The energy transformation has included renegotiation of contracts for renewable supplies with mining and industrial companies. As recent examples, the new power purchase agreement (PPA) with Antofagasta plc stands out, which will allow the source of energy for its Minera Centinela operation to be 100% renewable from 2022, the company said.

In the same context of energy transformation, in July 2020 Engie Energía Chile announced the purchase of the company Eólica Monte Redondo SpA, thus adding to its generation assets the Monte Redondo Wind Farm (48 MW) and Laja Hydroelectric Power Plant (34.4 MW), which were already operated by the company.

Additionally, in March 2019 the company had also formalized the purchase of the companies that own the Los Loros (53 MW) and Andacollo (1.3 MW) solar parks

The company is currently building in the north of the country the Calama wind farm, the Capricornio solar park (Antofagasta) and the Tamaya Solar power plant, located in Tocopilla, which together add up to about 370 MW.