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Danish and US wind firms collaborate as construction starts on Chile's largest wind project

Installation of 50 Siemens turbines begins on 115 MW Latin American US-operated wind project

The wind farm will provide a 115 MW boost to wind power in Chile
The wind farm will provide a 115 MW boost to wind power in Chile

Construction has started on Chile’s largest wind project which is set to boost wind power in Latin America by 115 MW. The USD 245m El Arrayan Wind project, which involves companies from the EU and US, is set to help Chile reach its goal of generating 20 per cent of its energy from non-conventional renewable sources by 2020. 

The wind project utilises 50 of Danish firm Siemens’ 2.3 MW wind turbines. It will be operated by US firm Patten Energy, making it the first Chile-based wind project for the company. 

Firm Parque Eolico El Arrayan (PEEA) announced construction of the 115 MW wind project, which is located approximately 400 km north of Santiago on the coast of Chile. Once completed, El Arrayan will be Chile's largest wind power project, providing enough clean and renewable energy to power 200,000 local homes each year without producing any emissions.

The sponsors of PEEA – AEI, Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern), and Antofagasta Minerals SA (AMSA) – have completed financing for the project. The USD 245m innovative structure provides financing for the two-year construction period.

Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, said: “El Arrayan is our first wind project in Chile, marking Pattern's expansion into Latin America. Chile is a market that we find very exciting with a world-class economy and a welcoming culture. Chile's limited indigenous energy resources make it an ideal locale for renewable projects which are a local resource and which add to the economy rather than take from the economy.

"El Arrayan will make use of strong coastal winds to deliver renewable energy into the central SIC power grid," he added. "The project will provide the largest contribution of renewable energy toward meeting Chile's goal of generating 20 per cent of its energy from non-conventional renewable sources by 2020. El Arrayan will create jobs, local service company opportunities and economic investments, while establishing important energy infrastructure to help meet the needs of the growing Chilean economy."

The project is expected to achieve commercial operation in early 2014.