Ground broken on first Honduran wind farm

Honduras is reported to be the only country in Central America that supplies all its own electricity needs, and with work starting recently on the new Cerro de Hula wind farm in the municipality of Santa Ana, the country is working toward boosting the amount of electricity produced using renewable sources from the current figure of around 63%.
Ground broken on first Honduran wind farm

Honduras has long been a major renewable energy producer, meeting around 63% of its electricity needs using its major hydroelectric facilities including the 200-MW El Cajon and the 290-MW Lindo/Yojoa hydroelectric plants.

The country has never been a producer of petroleum and depends on imported oil to fill much of its energy needs, however for many years it has also relied on fuelwood and biomass (mostly waste products from agricultural production), which have traditionally met about 67 percent of the country's total energy demand (petroleum, 29 percent and electricity, 4 percent).

As Honduran’s demand increasing levels of electricity, the country is turning to alternative sources of power, one of which is wind energy.

To meet this demand, Globeleq – an experienced operating power company, actively developing energy solutions for the emerging markets of Africa, the Americas and Asia – moved in to develop wind farms in the Central American country. Its majority owned subsidiary, Energias Renovables de Mesoamerica S.A. (known as Mesoamerica Energy), is developing the 102-MW Cerro de Hula wind energy project through its locally owned entity, Energía Eólicas de Honduras, S.A. (EEHSA). The project is expected to generate approximately 6 percent of the country’s power supply.

Reinforcing the significance of the project to the country, the recent ground-breaking ceremony was attended by the President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, many high level politicians, international and local industry leaders and hundreds of members of the local communities living near the planned wind farm site (approximately 6,500 hectares) located 17 km south of Tegucigalpa, in the municipalities of Santa Ana and San Buenaventura, the greater project area is spread over.

During his speech at the ceremony, Globeleq’s CEO, Mikael Karlsson emphasised the importance of the project to the country. He commented: “The start of construction of the Cerro de Hula project is a significant milestone in Honduras’ energy future. Supplying sustainable and affordable power provides the country with an opportunity to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Globeleq is fully committed to the project’s successful implementation and with the increasing demand for renewable energy, we would like to expand the project and focus on clean and cost-effective new sources of energy across the region.”

After the ceremony, Jay Gallegos, Mesoamerica Energy’s Managing Director remarked: “This project has already made a substantial investment in the local area through its unique land acquisition/leasing program; procurement of local materials and services as well as providing many job opportunities. Our dedicated team has worked hard to bring the project to construction and we continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure commercial operation is achieved as planned.”

Largest wind farm in Central America

Financed through the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, Cerro de Hula will be the first wind farm in Honduras and the largest wind farm in the Central American region. The wind plant will consist of fifty-one 2-MW Gamesa G87 wind turbines and will supply the national utility company, Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica under a 100-MW, 20-year power purchase agreement. The facility will be constructed by the Gamesa Wind US LLC and Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción Mexico consortium, and is expected to enter service in early 2012.

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