Chile advances South America's biggest wind farm

Chilean energy company Colbun has applied for an environmental licence to build the largest wind project in Latin America.

Horizonte will be built in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile (pic credit: Pixabay)
Horizonte will be built in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile (pic credit: Pixabay)

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According to an extract from the environmental impact study, published on 17 February in Chile's official gazette, the Horizonte project will consist of 140 wind turbines for a total potential capacity of up to 980MW and is expected to generate around 2,000GWh of electricity annually.

The project will be built on 80km2 of government lands in northern Chile's Atacama Desert, especially set aside for renewable energy projects.

Colbun won a contract to rent the land in September 2017 in a tender held by Chile's Ministry of National Assets.

"The Horizonte project is an important step not just for our growth strategy based on the development of renewable energy, but also for our country's transition to emission-free energy," said Colbun CEO Thomas Keller.

Construction is expected to take just under three years, employing a peak of 1,200 workers. Capital expenditure is expected to total $700 million.

Enercon is in line to supply turbines for the 778MW Horizonte Horizonte (778MW) OnshoreTaltal, Antofagasta, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details wind farm. It is planning to modify the turbines’ steel towers to withstand earthquakes, given the site’s position across two tectonic plates, the manufacturer stated in its internal Windblatt company magazine .

According to the exclusivity agreement between Enercon and Colbun, the project will have a capacity of 607MW.

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