British company Seawind has filed the environmental impact report (EIA) for an ambitious renewable energy project that would create Chile's largest wind farm.
The park - proposed for Ovalle (Region IV) – would generate 74 Megawatts by way of 37 windmills. The project will cost US$150 million. Seawind's South American office, based in Santiago, is also currently investigating the possibility of 14 other projects in Chile. This includes five farms along the Central Valley's coast as well as projects slated for the Andes. Chile is in a race to find secure energy supplies for the future. While they currently generate less energy than other possibilities, wind farms could represent an effective, environmentally friendly option and act as a counterweight to possible plans for nuclear energy or the slew of dams currently planned for Chile's southern Aysén Region. The wind power option has become increasingly attractive in Chile as of late. A July interview in the ST with Pablo Garcia, a professor at Universidad Santo Tomas and Universidad Catolica, touched upon the potential benefits of such an energy source. "The average temperatures in the country are going to rise," said Garcia. "There is going to be a lot of air pressure over the continent. Air will be forced to rise, and wind will flow faster along the coast (?) wind energy is expensive, but it is worth it. It is ecologically sound and half as expensive as building a dam. More importantly, it will last much longer." The Santiago Times -