To offset the high fuel purchase costs of diesel plant used in much of Chile's remote Region XI, distribution company Saesa is developing a 2 MW wind plant scheduled to start operation on October 1. The imposing geography and harsh climate of Region XI, the area that stretches south from Puerto Montt to Patagonia and which was only connected by road to the Chilean heartland when the army of General Pinochet built the Southern Highway in the seventies, sets it off from the rest of Chile. Region XI is served by an isolated system based on diesel fired turbines run by regional utility Edelaysen. Saesa subsidiary STS, a transmission company, is administering the project, to consist of three Vestas 670 kW turbines, according to STS project director Sergio Seguel. They will be installed at Alto Baguales, not far from Region XI capital Coyhaique, where wind speeds are around 9 m/s.
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