Authorities in Chile are calling on energy companies AES Corp, Enel, Mainstream Renewable Power and Wpd to accelerate the commissioning of eight wind farms in the south of the country as it battles a severe energy shortage.
Low rainfall and high temperatures during July and August have severely restricted the availability of hydroelectric generation over the coming months putting pressure on power supplies.
The use of backup diesel generators to mitigate the hydropower deficit has caused spot prices on Chile’s main grid to rise as high as US$280/MWh compared to an average of US$95.90/MWh in June this year.
“We have some time ago identified the existence of 932MW of capacity, equivalent to approximately 10% of system demand, which are in the process of commissioning in the period between September and December 2021,” Juan Carlos Olmedo, president of Chile’s national power coordinator, told the Energy and Mining Committee of the Chamber of Deputies.
“We have contacted them to know their state of development,” he said.
Wind farms account for the majority of capacity in development.
They are: 101MW Los Olmos Los Olmos (101MW) OnshoreMulchén, Bio Bio, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details and 68MW Mesamávida Mesamávida (68MW) OnshoreLos Ángeles, Bío Bío Region, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details, both owned by AES Andes; 156MW Puelche Sur (Andes Renovables Huemul Complex) Puelche Sur (Andes Renovables Huemul Complex) (156MW) OnshoreLos Lagos, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details, 85.5MW Puelche - Renaico II Puelche - Renaico II (85.5MW) OnshoreRenaico, Araucania, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details and 58.5MW Las Viñas - Renaico II Las Viñas - Renaico II (58.5MW) OnshoreRenaico, Araucania, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details, owned by Enel Green Power; 54MW Lomas de Duqueco Lomas de Duqueco (54MW) OnshoreLos Ángeles, Bio Bio, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details and 273MW Malleco Malleco (273MW) OnshoreCollipulli, Araucania, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details, owned by WPD; and 84MW Alena (Andes Renovables Cóndor Complex) Alena (Andes Renovables Cóndor Complex) (84MW) OnshoreBio Bio, Chile, Central & South America Click to see full details, owned by Mainstream RP.
All the projects on the list are located in southern Chile as projects in the north of the country could be affected by limits on transmission capacity.
However, it is not clear how quickly the wind farms can be brought online given the different states of development.
A spokeswoman for AES Andes said that the Los Olmos and Mesamávida wind farms could not be connected immediately as they are under construction.
“We fully support the effort of the coordinator and the ministry of energy in order to speed up as much as possible COD of the new wind farms currently under construction, identifying pending sectorial permits and accelerating the grid connection process,” Lutz Kindermann, executive director of WPD Chile, told Windpower Monthly.