Wind energy in Colombia, Windpeshi wind farm will have 41 wind turbines

In the department of La Guajira, the assembly of the wind farms that the national government has been promoting in the framework of what is known as the energy transition is progressing.

On January 21, 2022, President Iván Duque Márquez arrived in Alta Guajira to inaugurate the Guajira 1 wind farm, which will be generating 20 megawatts, equivalent to the energy consumption of 33,295 Colombian families.
Work is currently under way to start up the Windpeshi wind farm, located in the jurisdiction of the municipalities of Uribia and Maicao, which will have a capacity of 205 megawatts (MW), thanks to the 41 wind turbines that will be installed in an area around of 6,200 hectares.

The project is in charge of the company Enel Green Power, a line of business in Colombia, which in 2018 inaugurated the El Paso solar park (86.2 MWdc) and is currently building the La Loma photovoltaic project (187 MWdc) in the department of Caesar.

Company executives reported that “Windpeshi is one of the nine projects that have been prioritized within the 2022-2024 strategic plan in Colombia and Central America, and an asset that will promote the economic and social development of the department of La Guajira.

The project will be generating 1,011 gigawatt-hours/year, energy capable of meeting the annual needs of approximately 500,000 homes, avoiding the annual emission of approximately 1 million tons of CO2, which is considered a great contribution to the decarbonization goals that Colombia has been silvered by 2050”, explained Eugenio Calderón, manager of Enel Green Power for Colombia and Central America.

For its operation, Windpeshi will have a 220 megavolt-ampere (MVA) transformer, in charge of raising the energy, from medium to high voltage, that will be produced by the 41 wind turbines. From there, the energy will be transported in a 97-kilometre, 220-kilovolt (kV) high-tension line until it reaches the Cuestecitas electrical substation, where the voltage will be raised to 500 KV so that it can be subsequently injected into the National Interconnected System ( WITHOUT).

Currently, Enel Green Power is adapting 32 kilometers of the Uribia-Wimpeshi road, improving connectivity in the area and making access to the park viable. Likewise, progress is being made in the construction of the offices that will be located inside the park and the construction of the high-voltage line will soon begin. To carry out these works, the company has so far hired 325 peasants, 196 of whom come from the municipalities of Uribia and Maicao, and in alliance with the National Apprenticeship Service -Sena-, has trained 65 people in basic construction and sustainable enterprises.
Since 2016, Enel Green Power, in line with the requirements of the authorities, has carried out prior, free and informed consultation with the Wayuú communities in which the Windpeshi wind farm and its corresponding transmission line are being built. In addition, it has executed shared value agreements with the communities belonging to the area of ??influence of the Uribia-Windpeshi road.

“From Enel Green Power we add value to the territories where we operate, through the employability of local labor and the execution of sustainability projects from the social, economic and environmental components, which benefit the communities and the environment, and encourage co-creation between the parties. In the specific case of the region, we developed an intercultural manual with the University of La Guajira, a tool that allows us to understand the dynamics and particularities of ethnic communities to promote respectful and harmonious interaction in Wayuú territory,” added Calderón.

Within the framework of the Windpeshi wind project, the Company has also built 14 jagüeyes with the ACDI/VOCA Foundation for Latin America, the Ministry of Housing and the National Army, which benefit more than 1,670 Wayuú indigenous people. This initiative is added to the Windpeshi and Amalipa public battery systems, financed through the mechanism of Works for Taxes and within the framework of the Guajira Azul program of the national government. With it, currently 5,000 people have access to drinking water.

For its part, in 2020 Enel Green Power signed a cooperation agreement with Artesanías de Colombia to contribute to the recovery and strengthening of Wayuú weaving. The alliance, concluded last December, allowed more than 290 indigenous people from the Windpeshi corregimiento to strengthen their Waireña techniques and 86 of them even marketed nearly 180 products at Expoartesanias 2021, the largest fair of Colombian handicrafts and products.