Chilean wind farm reaches full commercial operation

The Pattern Energy Group Inc has announced that its 115MW El Arrayán Wind project in Chile is now fully operational.
Chilean wind farm reaches full commercial operation

The El Arrayán Wind power project is the largest wind project in Chile and all of South America and is the company’s first wind project outside North America. The project expands Pattern’s portfolio to eight operating wind projects across three countries and increases its owned operating capacity by 36MW. It is also the second of the company’s projects to be completed this year with another three expected to reach completion before the end of the year.

“With the completion of El Arrayán Wind we are expanding our portfolio of world-class wind power projects with stable long-term cash flows in attractive markets” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We were drawn to Chile for its robust and stable economy, its electricity pricing in U.S. dollars and its aggressive policy to expand renewables given their limited domestic energy resources. The project is one of the best wind sites in all of Chile. We have delivered El Arrayán on time, increasing our total operations to eight operating wind facilities with three more projects totaling 393 MW in construction, all of which are on track to be completed this year.”

El Arrayán Wind is located approximately 400 km north of Santiago on the coast of Chile, a location which enjoys strong coastal winds. It occupies 15,320 acres of coastal land on a long-term lease with a single landowner and connects to the Sistema Interconectado Central's 220kV transmission system. The facility will generate enough clean, renewable power to supply the needs of around 200,000 Chilean homes each year and will also offset more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. It utilises 50 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, a type that Pattern Energy is also using at other wind projects in Canada and the United States.

Besides being the operator of El Arrayán Wind, Pattern Energy is also a joint venture owner with a net ownership interest of 31.5 percent in the project. Its partners include AEI El Arrayán Chile SpA, a subsidiary of AEI, and Antofagasta Minerals SA (AMSA) with net ownership interests of 38.5 percent and 30 percent of the project, respectively.

Around 70 percent of the electricity generated by El Arrayán will be acquired by Minera Los Pelambres through a long-term fixed-for-floating hedge. The remaining output will be sold into the Chilean spot market at the prevailing market price at the time of sale.

Approximately 200 jobs were created during construction, as well as up to 15 ongoing permanent positions. The project was constructed by Skanska Chile SA, a subsidiary of Skanska AB and one of the leading wind-focused construction firms in Chile.

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