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Irish company plans to invest 1.6 billion USD in wind farms in Chile

Friday, November 27th 2009 - 11:32 UTC
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Chile promotes alternative energies such as wind farms Chile promotes alternative energies such as wind farms

Irish energy firm Mainstream Renewable Power hopes to invest 1.6 billion US dollars in coming years to extend its Chilean wind farm operations. The firm is currently exploring the feasibility of building nine new wind farms across the country, local executive Jose Ignacio Escobar revealed this week.

The possible farms would be sited throughout Chile between Region II (Antofagasta) and Region IX (Aruacania) and would generate up 600 MW of electricity.

Implementation of the plans currently being explored is dependent on the outcome of next month’s Presidential election Escobar added.

“We are studying various sites for our projects,” Escobar said. “If the new administration gives us a clear signal (of support) we could make these plans concrete over the next three years”.

Each plant would generate between 50 MW and 100 MW of energy and would double the size of Mainstream's existing Chilean operations.

In Nov. 2008 Mainstream signed a 1 billion USD deal with local energy company Andes Energy to establish plants throughout Chile and generate around 400 MW of electricity. These projects include the Laguna Verde site in Valparaiso (Region V), which will produce 35 MW – enough to power 19,000 homes.

The plants will be run by joint venture company Andes Mainstream S.A., in which the Irish firm owns 90% of stocks. The company confirms that over half of these projects will be operational by 2010.

Mainstream was founded in 2008 and concentrates on the development and operation of wind, solar and ocean renewable energy plants. The firm recently announced the purchase of several wind farms in the Illinois, US, which have the potential to generate up to 787 MW of electricity.

By James Fowler - Santiago Times

Categories: Environment, Latin America.

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