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Chile

Chile

Ecopower plans 100MW Chile project

CHILE: Ecopower is planning to go ahead with the construction of a 100.8MW wind farm in southern Chile after it had its original plans blocked by the supreme court due to concerns from indigenous people.

The company has developed a number of sites across the country
The company has developed a number of sites across the country

The Chilean-Swedish developer has submitted a regulatory filing to build the Chiloé project near the city of Ancud, but has reduced the proposed capacity of the development from its original 112MW.

If it gets the go ahead, the development will consist of 42 wind turbines with a capacity of 2.4MW each. The company did not name a supplier, but Nordex and Mitsubishi both produce models with that nameplate capacity.

In 2012 the Chilean supreme court found that the Huilliche people of Chiloé had not been properly consulted during the environmental impact approval process. However, in March this year, Ecopower said it was redoubling its efforts to talk with indigenous communities in order to alleviate their concerns.

The company held monthly meetings with the Huilliche to allow Ecopower to "exchange information and receive observations which enrich the project".

In this latest submission to the country’s National Environmental Commission, Ecopower said it has taken into consideration the wind farm’s close proximity to "sites belonging to the cultural heritage".

The filing also proposes a 220kV 28-kilometre transmission line to connect the wind farm to the grid at the Choroihue substation.

From the anticipated commissioning date in early 2016, the project is expected to operate for 25 years.

Chile has nearly 300MW of operational wind capacity, and while in 2012 it added only 17MW, the country has a large pipeline.

The mining sector’s need to reduce emissions is driving the industry forward and the number of projects under construction has soared, with 3.25GW of projects approved.

The country has an ambitious target to produce 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

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