Wind Power

22 Sep 2021

Colbun to Build Major Wind Farm in Northern Chile

22 Sep 2021  by   
Chilean generator Colbun plans to install Latin America's largest wind farm in the Atacama desert, expanding Chile's burgeoning renewable energy base which the government hopes to leverage for green hydrogen.

The 778MW Horizonte project requires $850mn in investment for the installation of 140 turbines 130km (80.8mi) from Taltal in the Antofagasta region. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of 2021, for start-up in mid-2024.

The project will be among the world's top 10 onshore wind farms, the energy ministry said.

Chile's 25.8GW national power grid already features 15pc installed capacity of photovoltaic solar and 10pc wind energy, and more is on the way following a recent power auction. But coal-based generation still leads the thermal pack with 18pc of capacity. Gas and diesel generators account for 15pc apiece. Hydroelectricity from reservoirs and run-of-river plants take up a combined 24pc. The balance comes from mini-hydro, biomass and geothermal plants, according to the latest National Energy Commission (CNE) data.

Because of a prolonged drought, Chile recently brought two coal-fired plants out of retirement for a temporary period, a setback in the country's ambitious decarbonization campaign.

Chile's development agency Corfo is currently holding a tender for $50mn in funding for local green hydrogen projects, which utilize renewable energy to derive hydrogen from water through electrolysis. The government of outgoing president Sebastian Pinera plans to award the funding to at least two projects in December.

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